Emergency Department support

Help in times of stress

No parent ever expects or wants to end up in the Emergency Department with their child. Our volunteers are there to help ease the stress of a high-pressure environment by providing a helping hand to parents and families.

Our friendly volunteers are there to support the family unit where they can. Volunteers can offer tea and coffee, provide warm blankets, or distract and entertain siblings or young family members while parents talk with medical staff.

For families who come through the Emergency Department, their world may have been suddenly turned upside down, so they often appreciate a calm, non-clinical presence to provide a helping hand.

Operating in the evenings Monday to Friday, these volunteers are based in the Emergency Department, helping to cater to the emotional load during what can be a very stressful time. Families can also request the help of volunteers from nurses, who will arrange a volunteer for you.

The Emergency Department volunteers are not only a welcome distraction and comfort for families, but also provide vital support to hospital staff. Thanks to these dedicated volunteers, nurses and other medical staff are free to focus on providing important clinical support, knowing that the volunteers have helped create a more pleasant clinical environment.

Seanna’s story

When Seanna was just ten and a half weeks old, she experienced her first episode of anaphylaxis as a result of severe allergies. By the time she was three, most food caused severe or life-threatening reactions, meaning that Seanna and her mum Crystal were regulars to the Emergency Department.

For Crystal, our Emergency Department volunteers made a huge difference to both her and her daughter’s hospital experience.

They have been lifesavers – if it wasn’t for them the experience of the hospital and the trauma that Seanna has been through would be so much worse.

“When Seanna sees the volunteers, her face just lights up and then it helps us as a family to stay calm and recover as well.

“It gives us some time but then we get to see our child be a normal child – it has been, in itself, lifesaving.

“We have formed a very close relationship with the volunteers – if the doctors have to do a scary procedure, then they will let the volunteers know and they might have an extra little treat for Seanna afterwards.

“We call them the Green Team – she knows that she can ask for them and they will come.

“Just thinking about what they have done for our family makes me emotional. Their support has made such an impact and has helped us get through a really tough time – I couldn’t express my thanks enough.

“It’s so easy for parents to get caught up in the Emergency Department, but I want everyone to know that they can access the volunteers.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the waiting room and watching families first experience this service is amazing – you can see the children physically transform – this service is a little ray of sunshine when I didn’t know there could be any.”

How to access Emergency department volunteers at Queensland Children’s Hospital

The Emergency Department volunteers are currently available Monday to Friday from 1pm-5pm.

Looking to volunteer at Queensland Children’s Hospital

Volunteers are not only a big help to families whose world has been turned upside down by a sudden illness or injury to their child. They are also invaluable support to the Emergency Department staff. If you would like to help us work wonders with sick kids, head to our Get involved page and learn more about the many ways you can get involved with the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

If you have found all the information you need and would like to apply to become a Children’s Hospital Foundation volunteer, click the button below.