Patient & Family Support

We look after the needs of the patient and their families, whilst they undergo lifesaving treatment and care, by funding some of the hospital’s key staff and supporting key initiatives to help families such as a sibling fund, hospital school and the transplant games.

Sibling Fund

As the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, we care for the whole family. Often children are treated at the hospital for long periods of time, and we want to ensure that their brothers and sisters get the help they need too. Some families relocate for treatment, and siblings, especially younger children, may need to attend the hospital with their parents; during this time they may also experience difficult and upsetting feelings.

Every year we raise £5,000 for a sibling fund, to support siblings’ emotional wellbeing and give them a welcome break from hospital life. The fund pays for day trips to local attractions like Bristol Zoo and At-Bristol, and also ensures that siblings can enjoy creative activities at the hospital Play Centre, and have lessons in the hospital school if they come from outside of Bristol.

Family Support Worker

When a child is sick, sometimes the needs of other family members are easily put aside. But we are committed to helping everyone affected by a child’s illness through our Grand Appeal Family Support Worker, Bobby Owen. Bobby provides a life-line to parents, carers, grandparents, brothers and sisters, giving support and help when they desperately need it.

She also works with families during their entire stay in hospital, all the way from diagnosis, through treatment, to discharge. Bobby’s role is completely funded by The Grand Appeal, so thank you to everyone who makes this vital role possible.

Youth Development Worker

The Hospital's Youth Development Worker, Sara, works with patients throughout the children’s hospital, giving young patients a voice, ensuring that patients feel involved and supported during their stay and treatment in hospital, and can work with the hospital to make it the best it can be for young people.

The hospital received national recognition in the form of a Gold Award from the Children’s Commissioner for participation work with young people during their stay in hospital. Sara's role is partly funded by The Grand Appeal, so thank you to everyone who makes this vital role possible.

School

Illness can seriously disrupt a child’s education, particularly if they have a long stay in hospital or are admitted multiple times. There is also the worry for parents that their child will struggle to catch up once they return to school.

The Grand Appeal provides funding every year to support Bristol Children’s Hospital’s school – a welcoming, comfortable space where children can learn according to their age and needs, and where their brothers and sisters can also study if they come from outside of Bristol.

Having a hospital school ensures children don't miss out on education due to illness, and provides children with distraction and mental stimulation during their stay, improving their wellbeing.

British Transplant Games

The British Transplant Games are a fantastic opportunity for children who have had an organ transplant to meet each other, share their experiences and have lots of fun.

Training for the Games also helps patients regain their fitness and provides an exciting challenge, supporting their emotional as well as physical health. Every year we send a team of young patients from Bristol Children’s Hospital to the Games, where they compete in sports like athletics, swimming, volleyball and mini tennis, and attend fun social events.

We are proud to fund this annual celebration of both transplant patients and organ donors.

Digital support

Visiting hospital, especially for the first time, can be frightening and confusing for children, and so we fundraise for a range of digital services that help young patients to understand their hospital experience.

We fund a special child-friendly website for Bristol Children’s Hospital, where children can find answers to all their questions prior to their stay.

We also funded ‘A Little Deep Sleep’, an animated film which uses real patients’ and doctors’ voices to explain to children what happens when they go under general anaesthetic, preparing them for surgery and easing their worries.