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People asked to host coffee mornings to help make hospitals more fun places for sick kids

Volunteers spend time with sick children in hospital, doing crafts, reading to them or playing games with them.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC are being asked to host a coffee morning at some stage this month to raise funds for a charity focused on making hospitals more fun places for sick children.

Children in Hospital Ireland aims to bring a smile to the faces of children in hospital. Volunteers spend time with sick children, doing crafts with them, playing games or reading to them for a short period to keep them entertained. It also gives parents a chance to take a break.

The charity says play can help alleviate some of the trauma of hospitalisation for a child and can introduce normality to the strange environment.

One parents at Cork University Hospital described their experience with the charity’s work: “A flurry of make and do with glitter and stickers and I got my cup of tea. Small pleasures – but a big deal at the time.”

Another parent of a child in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin said the volunteers were “invaluable during those long hours, days, weeks”.

“Not alone did they bring smiles to Kate’s face by playing games, drawing, and colouring with her or sometimes just hanging out with her, but it would mean I could go and grab a half hour to myself, sit, have a coffee and gather my thoughts.”

Each year in Ireland on average there are over 270,000 hospital visits by children. For over 100,000, this means an average of a three night stay.

Source: Children in Hospital Ireland/YouTube

The charity has now launched its annual ‘Cuppa & Cookie’ fundraising event, asking people all throughout the month of June to host a coffee morning.

The charity’s CEO Anna Gunning said it is “a wonderful social way to raise support and awareness for CHI and to give people an opportunity to get together with friends and colleagues while helping to fund a vital service to support children who are in hospital”.

The funds raised will go towards providing arts and crafts materials, books and games as well as expanding training programmes for volunteers. The charity will provide all hosts with a starter pack which includes tea and coffee, biscuits and information leaflets.

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