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Radio Lollipop has it covered

25th November 2020

Radio lollipop size

Submitted by Sheila Wilkinson, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust ( MFT)

John Carpenter has been the Chair for Radio Lollipop at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) since 2009, having previously operated from the Children’s Hospital in Salford for 18 years.

Radio Lollipop is an international children’s charity providing care, comfort, play and entertainment to children in hospital and celebrated 40 years of service in June 2019.

Cherished by children, young people and their families or carers, Radio Lollipop provides free entertainment every day.

John is a dedicated professional with exceptional leadership qualities, who supports around 35 volunteers, whose ages range from 18 to 75 years to deliver the service. John always upholds our Trust Values and Behaviours, of Everyone Matters; Working Together; Dignity and Care and being Open and Honest.

John works closely as part of the care team to understand what matters to every child and young person. Radio Lollipop is available and adaptable to meet the needs of the children, young people and their families and carers whilst in hospital.

John is instrumental in pulling the right people together, to deliver a range of activities including face painting, balloon modelling, competitions and seasonal celebrations. John goes the extra mile in order to meet the emotional needs of children and young people

Examples of John going the extra mile include:

• “Live” and pre-recorded radio programmes to cover day time and evening broadcasts Monday to Sunday. The Radio Lollipop team have volunteered over 1000 hrs of their time since September 2019.

• Introduction of the “Lolli Trolley”- an interactive activity trolley for the RMCH wards which incorporates Karaoke, bubble making, balloon blowing and fibre optic lighting.

• Following the “Manchester Bombing”- John and Radio Lollipop volunteers worked alongside staff to identify and help those who needed emotional support and distraction during this difficult time. The Radio Lollipop station requested for other children and young people in RMCH to make ‘Get Better Soon’ cards and draw pictures to brighten the spirits of those affected by the Bomb.

• John is currently looking to expand the Radio Lollipop “offer” to older patients, including those with dementia and for long stay patients who are feeling lonely due to the lack of visitors.

• John has conducted national and international “Zoom/ Teams” calls with other Radio Lollipop Chairs and volunteers, to keep in touch and share learning.

• Development and launch of a Radio Lollipop App to make the radio station as accessible and as interactive as possible for children, young people and their families and carers, at a time when hospital visiting is restricted.

• Pre-recorded radio programmes so children and young people and their families or carers can send requests and keep in touch.

• Working collaboratively with Radio Lollipop in New Zealand, there has been the development of an activity booklet for both children and young people, families and carers.

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