Celebrating TGS Alumni - volunteering beyond school

Harriette Pearson, TGS 2005 – 2011.

Harriette, a fourth-year medical student at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, has created Project Play. This sees 47 student doctors regularly visit The Royal London Hospital paediatric wards to socialise with patients – playing games and helping them to relax and chat. Project Play is popular with young patients who receive visitors and has also helped student doctors develop their patient communication skills.

Points of Light Award, 2015 Winners.

The Daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Project Play is a fantastic programme. Being in hospital can be a difficult time especially for children and teenagers. You and your fellow Project Play Volunteers are bringing smiles to hundreds of young patients on the children’s wards of the Royal London Hospital.

Project Play is a Barts and the London Volunteering Group and consists of 35 Medical Students who visit A&E and the Children's Wards in the Royal London Hospital to provide play activities with the children and young people. Their aim is to make waiting in A&E and being admitted into hospital as much fun as possible.

Activities include making masks, pasta necklaces, musical instruments, playing games and generally having fun!

When asked about the project, Harriette said 

Usually outside the hours of 9-5 Monday to Friday, the play room is shut, the precious toys locked away to keep them safe. The 100 children and teenagers are left with nothing to do. But that was before Project Play arrived. Our volunteers run kids clubs on Tuesdays and Saturdays- where you can see little ones playing a big game of hide and seek in the healing space, or creating arts and crafts with the imagination only children have. The best sessions are when you see a child who is crying from pain, who is able to attend a session and bravely paint something for their Mum to take home. Kids work is play- and we help them to work. A member of staff sent me this in an email today- "A parent just stopped me in the hall to tell me how much she loved Saturday and what a difference it made!"

Samantha Twinam

Creativity, Action, Service Coordinator, Tonbridge Grammar School.