Steggles Cuddle CarersHome What we do Patient and Family Support Steggles Cuddle Carers A soothing cuddle Our specially trained Cuddle Carers provide comfort to the youngest of patients with a reassuring and soothing cuddle, so parents can take a break from their baby’s bedside. A partnership with Steggles, in addition to generous community support, means we are able to offer the Cuddle Carers service at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. From birth up to 24 months, our volunteers provide comfort and support to both the babies and their families. Our volunteers are a big help to parents whose worlds have been turned upside down. The value of a cuddle is priceless, especially for our youngest patients. For parents, knowing that their child is receiving individual and authentic attention can provide a huge relief. It also allows parents to take time to refresh, consult with medical staff or make phone calls, or just have someone to chat to while they sit by their baby’s bedside. Our cuddle carers are specially selected and trained so that parents can have peace of mind knowing that while they’re away from their baby, a specially qualified volunteer is giving their child individual affection. The Steggles Cuddle Carers program is available to infants within the dedicated infants ward and is also available in the emergency department, outpatient department and immunisation clinic. Siblings of patients who are 24 months and younger are also eligible for the service. We know that when a family comes in with a sick or injured child, that their focus will be on that child, so our cuddle carers are there to help look after any young siblings in order to give parents the space they need. At its core, this service is about providing personalised support to children and their families. Rayne-Marie’s Story Rayne-Marie was diagnosed with liver disease when she was just two weeks old, and has been in and out of hospital since then. Now at seven months old, Rayne-Marie has gone through major corrective surgery and battled through multiple infections. For her mother, Annie, the past seven months has meant long periods in hospital. “In the last seven months, we’ve only been home for about two and a half – we’re in hospital for one week here, two there – but the longest stay we’ve experienced was four months. “During these long periods at the hospital, the cuddle carers have been such a huge help. “She loves the attention that she gets from them – it’s really nice that they will come in and give her all of their attention, it means I can have a break and get some fresh air. “They’ll just sit and hold her, rock her to sleep – the cuddle carers are so good to her. “Knowing that someone is there with her, while I grab a coffee or go for a walk, it means the world. “I don’t have to worry or stress about whether she’s upset because the volunteers have her and know how to soothe her. “As a parent, you just want to be with your sick children 24/7, but that’s not possible, you need a break. This service has made such a huge difference to our time at the hospital – I could never thank them enough.” Only specially trained volunteers can take on the important role of being a cuddle carer. Watch what being a cuddle carer means to Margaret. How to access Steggles Cuddle Care at Queensland Children’s Hospital Cuddle Carer volunteers are available from 7am-7:30pm Monday to Friday and from 10am-5pm on weekends. This service is an opt in service, if you would like to organise time with a cuddle carer, speak with your doctor or nurse.