AWCH Hospital Ward Grandparent Scheme

The AWCH Hospital Ward Grandparent Scheme was established in 1987.

It has become a highly regarded service in all major NSW children’s hospitals, and increasingly in metropolitan and rural hospitals.

The Scheme supports parents and families who may be unable to stay with or visit their hospitalised child regularly or who may need extra support during their child’s hospitalisation. It is not always possible for families to support their child in hospital because of restrictions imposed by distance, family, work, or parental health needs. A Hospital Ward Grandparent volunteer provides ‘surrogate’ care for children in hospital.

The AWCH Hospital Ward Grandparent Scheme plays a vital part in enabling children in hospital to have access to the love and support normally provided by their parents and other family members.

Hospitals participating in the AWCH Hospital Ward Grandparent Scheme include:

A Ward Grandparent Volunteer:

  • is assigned to an individual child for the duration of the child’s stay in hospital
  • visits the hospitalised child on a regular basis
  • performs activities such as nursing, feeding, changing nappies, bathing, playing, talking, singing, going for walks with the child
  • does not perform any medical tasks

Ward Grandparent volunteers are a valuable resource for parents, children, and hospital staff.

They make a real difference to the emotional side of healing by just ‘being there’ when parents cannot.

The Ward Grandparents can be called upon to give their time to the children and provide a loving pair of arms and a familiar, reassuring face

More details can be found from the Ward Grandparent Scheme Guidelines. Contact AWCH for information about setting up a scheme in your hospital or how to become a ward grandparent volunteer.