Maeesha has been volunteering for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity since 2012. Here she tells us why she got involved and why she finds it such a rewarding experience…
With a mother who works in the NHS, I’ve always been interested in the way in which hospitals are run. I was aware of the incredible work done by the clinical staff and wanted to do what I could to support them in whatever small way I could.
In the summer of 2012 my mum told me that the charity for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital was holding a fundraising skydive and, feeling a bit brave, I signed up! It was a great day and a fantastic experience but one of the best things about it is that I got talking to one of the ladies from the charity who had organised the event. She told me more about their work, how they raised money to fund projects or research outside of the hospital’s budget, such as helping to provide state-of-the-art equipment or making the hospital wards more child-friendly and welcoming. I loved the sound of everything they were trying to achieve so asked that they call me should any volunteering opportunities come up.
As I was on a year off between school and university I had plenty of free time and was lucky enough to get involved in lots of different events with the charity team. I first helped at the Teddy Toddle which they held onsite at the Children’s Hospital and went on to help at their Ascot Day, Starry Lunch and Discovery Ball events, as well as at the Greater Manchester Mini Run.
I love the work I do with Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity and, despite the fact that I’m going to university this autumn, I hope to still be able to help out wherever I can. It’s a great feeling to know that you are contributing to something which makes such a genuine difference to the experience of the children and their families who visit the hospital. I’ve had to spend time in hospital myself and I know how daunting the experience can be for an adult so I can only imagine how scary it must be for a child. Volunteering makes me feel that I am giving something back to my local community and I am very proud to support the charity, and therefore our NHS, in this way.
Staff from Unilever have been committed to fundraising and volunteering for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital since it first opened. For the past two years a team of volunteers from the Trafford Park based staff has been giving their time to help create a beautiful garden in the outdoor play area of the Children’s Hospital.
With the support of other local businesses, who donated or discounted the plants and materials needed, the 13-strong team revisted the hospital in May this year to repaint the planters and children’s play equipment. Despite the very unseasonable weather of strong winds and downpours, the team’s enthusiasm remained intact throughout the day and the team, working alongside student volunteers from Manchester Metropolitan University, completed the job in one day.
“We all had a great time and found it to be a real pleasure to be able to take part in something so worthwhile. I am confident that further opportunities will arise to continue to work in partnership with Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in the next year and I will be urging all staff to take part as it is such an unforgettable experience.” - Steve Mosley, Unilever