Bring the joyful spirit of Barretstown to children and families beyond our gates throughout the year.
Hospital Outreach Programme
The Hospital Outreach Programme brings the hopeful, playful spirit of Barretstown to children and families in the hospital setting. By offering unique, creative and developmentally appropriate activities and interactions, we help to restore joy and laughter in a time often laden with fear, stress and uncertainty.
We work collaboratively with hospital staff to create activity based programmes focused on improving the quality of life during treatment. The Hospital Outreach Programme continues to bring the joy and fun of camp’s summer programming to seriously ill children year-round.
We typically HOP in CHI at Crumlin, CHI at Temple Street, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Cork University Hospital and University College London Hospital. Due to restrictions, our HOP programme is now being delivered through monthly HOP activity packs that include camp goodies and activities to continue spreading some Barretstown fun in the hospital!
What is expected of me as a volunteer?
As a volunteer with HOP, you will work with the Outreach Team to facilitate programmes in various hospital settings including playrooms, bedsides, wards, and clinics. Our Outreach Team will share information on the programme with you by email and meet you on the morning of the visit to go through the programme plan and provide any necessary training.
Our programmes run at various times on various days of the week, depending on the hospital. Please see our HOP Calendar for more details.
We run HOP regularly in CHI at Crumlin, CHI at Temple Street, the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and monthly programmes in Cork University Hospital and University College London Hospital.
Barretstown’s School Education programme aims to create a fun, interactive and child-friendly approach to explaining what cancer is whilst dispelling myths associated with it. This is a free programme that encourages children to be supportive of their classmate who has cancer as they return to school and reduces the likelihood of bullying, exclusion, confusion or anxiety.
On returning to school, children can often look different as a result of the side effects from their treatment – this needs to be explained to the class to help them understand what they are going through and how to support them. The programme typically includes a short puppet show, in which puppets Conor and Sarah chat about cancer, followed by group discussions through games and activities.
Camp in Schools
Our Camp in Schools programme is available to children with serious illness at school. It is available to schools all around the country. These children will have attended Barretstown and the programme allows them share the Barretstown experience with their friends and class mates. The programme helps campers to sustain improved levels of confidence and self-esteem after camp, helps their class mates understand the role of Barretstown in the camper’s life and allows the camper and their class have fun together!
Games and Activities focus on building self – esteem, friendship, team work and a sense of accomplishment for the class.
School to Camp Programme
Another exciting addition to our Outreach Programmes is an innovative programme – School to Camp. This programme allows a camper to bring their entire class to Barretstown to experience the magic of Barretstown for themselves. The class get to try out some of the camper’s favourite activities and games whilst gaining an awareness of what it’s like to be a child with a serious illness through our inclusive programming. The School to Camp is based on our Therapeutic Recreation Model and allows the camper and their classmates to try something new, take on new challenges and build on their friendships whilst most importantly, having FUN!
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