The Royal Free Hospital School – Royal Free Charity, Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust
8th November 2018
Winner – Partnership working in volunteering
Experienced teaching volunteers provide significant help as volunteer teaching assistants at the Royal Free Hospital School. The school is designated as a 42-place school for children who are inpatients or day patients on the paediatric wards or patients in the Royal Free Intensive Eating Disorder Service. The school works closely with professionals including consultant doctors, mental health professionals, physiotherapists, speech therapists and other agencies. Volunteers help the children with maths and English, art, music and science. A Pets as Therapy dog is welcomed each week to visit the pupils during break time; the dog also sits quietly while her owner tutors children in maths. The school helps some of the volunteers with professional development – and one volunteer called Camilla is going on to teacher training next year. The school uses volunteers from Bright Futures UK, who volunteer as mentors to the children on the wards, or when they have been discharged. The volunteers feel part of the school team. “I feel valued, useful and absolutely love my volunteering at the Royal Free Hospital School”, said Ann, a volunteer and retired headteacher. “Volunteers add hugely to the school experience adding new skills and varying the pupil experience. They contribute to a range of curriculum areas, enabling us to meet a wider range of need, and support more young people with a medical or mental health need”, said Alex Yates, Headteacher at the Royal Free Hospital School.