Chain of Hope relies on volunteers of all types to support the children and their families while they undergo treatment.
Our volunteers come from all backgrounds, cultures, religions and ages. A number of our newer recruits are recently retired, but are very active and enthusiastic about taking on new challenges.
They are sometimes people with a background in working with children and families, and sometimes people who have a child themselves who have suffered with a heart condition, but more often they are just people who want to make a difference, and who feel they can offer practical support to children from around the world who are waiting for the chance of a life-saving operation. If you would like to get involved, there are a number of ways that you can help:
Chain of Hope needs more volunteer families to care for children who come to the UK for surgery. Each child needs a family to provide a supportive and caring environment for them and their parent or guardian during their temporary stay (usually two to four weeks) whilst the child is recovering from surgery.
At the moment most children are treated in London, so prospective families need to be within easy reach of the city. So if you are flexible, caring, and enjoy learning about other countries and cultures, we would love to hear from you.
Child Support Volunteers
We also need volunteers who can help our host families support the child and their parent or carer during their stay in the UK. This may involve visiting the child and carer in hospital, assisting with attendance at pre-admission and follow up hospital appointments, providing help with day care or babysitting at the host family home, or taking our visitors out when the child is well enough.
Some of our visiting children and parents speak little or no English. Ensuring parents understand the complex surgical interventions, as well as the day to day information they need to make their stay less stressful, can be so much easier with an interpreter on hand or at the end of the phone. If you speak any of the following languages, your help will be particularly invaluable: Luganda, Woloof, Jola, Arabic, Swahili, Kurdish, Amharic.
We need volunteers with a friendly, flexible and welcoming manner, who can help with transport to and from the airport, and hospital appointments. Volunteers will need to have use of a fully insured car, and have a clean driving license. Expenses and mileage will be paid.
For all volunteer roles, you must be over 18 years old, and we will discuss with you what role might best fit your skills, experience and availability. Also to ensure the child and carer are safeguarded during their stay, a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and references will be required. For Host Family applicants we will take up checks and complete an assessment which will go to our Host Family Panel.