Dylan Davies, aged 20, is Nottingham Hospitals Charity marketing volunteer. As part of his role he got a unique insight into our Children’s Hospital Youth Service and the amazing support it provides young people in hospital.
As part of my work experience with Nottingham Hospitals Charity, I was set a task to go to the Nottingham Children’s Hospital’s Youth Service which runs a weekly Youth Club and chat to some of the volunteers and young people there.
When I entered the club there were many games and activities that the young people could interact with. The activities which were popular among the young people included the Nintendo Wii, pool tables and the ping pong table. In addition there was a tuck shop where the young people and volunteers could buy snacks and soft drinks.
The atmosphere of the Youth Club was warm and friendly. Everyone was very welcoming to me and to the new members who were joining the club that evening. I wanted to chat to a couple of young people and volunteers to get their take of the Youth Club and how it has helped them.
The first volunteer I spoke to was called John-Jo; before he was a volunteer he attended the club as a young person and felt that he could talk to the volunteers and they would understand what he was going through as they were not much older than he was.
The majority of volunteers were once young people who used the service. I feel this is a very unique aspect of the club as the volunteers can truly understand what is like to be a young person as they have been in their shoes. I spoke to another volunteer called Joey; Joey has been a volunteer for 3 months but he has been attending the club for 10 years. From his point view the Youth Service helps to “encourage young people” by getting them involved in activities such as cooking and sports to build their confidence.
After speaking to the volunteers I wanted to get the view of the young people and see how the Youth Club has changed their lives. The first young person I spoke to was called Caitlin, who said the club has made her “more confident.” The Youth Service also helped her get a voluntary job at the hospital helping on the maternity ward. When I was listening to her it was clear to me that the Youth Service helps build up young people’s confidence and will help them get valuable work experience.
Overall from my own perspective I believe that the Youth Service is like a family. The reason it is unique is down to the staff that are passionate about their job and will go above and beyond to ensure a young person is happy. Because many of the volunteers were once young people who attend the youth service, it means they can relate to a lot of what is going through a young person mind as they were once in their situation.
I believe that this service is crucial to the young people and the community of Nottingham as it can give a place for young people to be themselves and to grow into young confident adults.
This year it is the Youth Service’s 21st anniversary and I would encourage anyone to either donate or fundraise for the service as you will be helping a young person to be part of a support service which truly understands them. Check out their Appeal page.