On Friday 27th October, MY Trust staff had the absolute honour of taking 10 lucky young people to visit Great Ormond Street for the day. The group of young people had previously taken part in the Summer NCS programme with us at the MY Trust. For those that don’t know, NCS is a short social action programme for young people aged 16 – 17 who come together from a wide range of backgrounds to work together to plan, fundraise and deliver a social action project within their local community. This summer in Medway alone, 283 young people took part in NCS and raised over £30000 for charities big and small and spent a total of 16,980 hours working in their local community on their chosen social action projects.
At the end of every NCS programme, we hold a graduation event to celebrate the huge achievements of each young person that has taken part on NCS. One of our celebration events went so well that a parent who attended the event and who also works for Great Ormond Street’s head office functions as Director of HR & OD, Ali Mohammed, contacted us to invite the young people to spend a day at GOSH. This was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up, and so planning began with GOSH to structure and plan a day for young people to visit in the October half term break. Only 10 spaces were available, so young people who had taken part in NCS over the summer were invited to apply for a space by filling in an application form.
The 10 young people were carefully chosen and met us, the MY Staff, bright and early at Chatham train station and off we went to London.
The day started well and we were warmly welcomed by Su Twin (Resourcing Manager) and Emma Gill (Business Partner –Retention) who gave us a brief rundown of what the day would entail. We kicked it all off with a talk and workshop around fundraising and marketing and we were introduced to Dorothy Cross & Mika Brenan (Digital Content Producers – GOSH Charity) who explained what they do and spoke to us about their annual event, London Santa Dash. The aim was for our young people to learn how GOSH raise funds and market their large scale events. This was a good opportunity to get our young people’s ideas about how GOSH could appeal to young people to take part in their events and fundraise for GOSH. The young people had so many fantastic ideas about how to reach and appeal to other young people – talking through what their interests were and how they spend their time, it was so good to see that we (GOSH, young people and even MY staff) were all learning from each other, bouncing ideas around and building an element of excitement.
Once the workshop was over, it was lunch time. We had a fantastic time spending our lunch with other staff from GOSH to talk through their varied jobs and allow our young people to see what different roles were available just within GOSH alone. The young people spoke to a variety of people including a Lead Nurse for Recruitment, Medical HR Manager, Apprenticeship Lead, Recruitment Team Leader, In House Bank Advisor, Matron for Outpatients and a Senior Staff Nurse. It was at this point where we overheard one of the conversations between a young person and a GOSH staff member. The young person was describing what her plan was for the future and ended by saying “Since I’ve been here at GOSH today, my perspective has changed and I now want to look at working in a hospital.” It was clearly obvious to us that the young people were already inspired by the work that GOSH do and we were only half way through the day.
After lunch, we enjoyed a fun activity to wake up our brains with Emma James from the Patient Involvement and Experience team. They spoke to us about their Youth Forum and how they work with young people and children, current patients and ex patients, about their role on the forum.
Next we met with Kala Diran who is GOSH’s Recruitment and Training Assistant for the Volunteers Service. Kala spoke to us so passionately about the amazing volunteering opportunities that GOSH offer from different types of admin roles to baby buddies to play volunteers. The list was very varied but the important message remained the same. GOSH had such a high dependency on their volunteers, without people willing to give up their time to make a difference, the hospital would not be able to achieve the high standards of care they give to their patients that they so greatly require.
Next up was the GOSH tour. We were shown around the unique hospital learning about its history all the way. We learnt about the writer JM Barrie who wrote the play and novel ‘Peter Pan’ and that he had unexpectedly left the copyright of Peter Pan to GOSH. We saw the Peter Pan statue outside of the hospital to mark this. We also saw the incredible Chapel of St. Christopher which is a 19th century Chapel built as part of the original Great Ormond Street site. The Chapel was lifted and moved piece by piece in the late 1980’s to the new site at GOSH. The Chapel is an incredible space to walk into and you are suddenly struck by not only beauty but also a strong feeling of peace and rest. It is quite an emotional and overwhelming place.
We then had exclusive access to the staff rooftop garden and the views across London were incredible.
Once the tour was over we went back to the training room to give our feedback now that the day was over. All of the young people had such an inspiring day. It was such a fantastic opportunity for young people and MY Trust staff to see how a small charity such as MY Trust can learn from a large charity like GOSH, but also how a large charity like GOSH can learn from a small charity like MY Trust and the young people that it works with. Every staff member we spoke to was so happy, enthusiastic and passionate about their job, it was hard not to feed off of their passion too.
An absolutely huge thank you goes to all of the staff at GOSH for making us feel so welcome. What an incredible day.