Nursing Times Award Winner

Whats it like to volunteer for Kissing it Better? by Kate age 12

Why I enjoying volunteering with Kissing it Better - by Kate age 12

The reason I started helping with Kissing it Better is because my mum is Liz Pryor - she works with Jill who started the charity. I go in to hospital with her quite a lot to help with different events. I also go in to volunteeer myself. I sing a lot so that's what I do to try to cheer patients up.

I think the first time I went with Mum was to North Middlesex Hospital in London, to meet a group of small children and their drama teacher. I was quite nervous as I hadn't been into a hospital before - the children were all dressed up as bugs and were doing a short play and singing. The patients loved it! They came downstairs in their dressing gowns with some nurses just to watch the little children perform.

Next time I went to help with a visit to The Lister with Adem Fehmi and his Pets as Therapy dog, Yogi. This was the first time I had been to The Lister since I was born, which was weird. Yogi is a lovely black labrador who loves people! He and Adem are great with the patients and everyone loves them!

It was after that trip to The Lister that I had a conversation with Mum in the car about going in with my friends to sing.

A few weeks later Mum organised for some members of my school choir to come and sing when the BBC visited. That was my first experience of singing in a hospital - we all really enjoyed it, and were excited to see and hear ourselves on TV at Christmas time. Even though some people don't always look happy, you have to remember that they aren't very well, and they may be feeling really horrible!

After that we all got together and decided it would be good to go in and sing Christmas carols and songs around the hosptial. After hearing us sing, one lady said to my mum "I was having a really bad day and I didn't really know what to do with myself, and when I heard the children singing, it really brightened up my day". On another ward there was a very ill lady. Her sister asked whether we knew a song called O Holy Night. We knew it well, and sang it for her. Her sister said to mum "if that's the last thing she hears before she dies - she will die happy". It was amazing to have been able to do a small thing for them.

Last weekend I went to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn with a group of ladies who sing called Mixed 4Tunes. They're very good. At one point during the visit I got a bit scared. There was a very ill old lady with dementia, I think. Mum was talking to her and she was saying she couldn't see anything, and that no one was looking after her. I was very nervous. Then the ladies finished singing and we had to go and I felt very bad. Luckily the lady had some visitors who arrived just as we were leaving, so that was a relief. I understand more now about what happens to someone who has dementia.

I think working with Kissing it Better would be an brilliant thing to do. I'm not old enough to work yet, I'm just old enough to volunteer.

Kissing it Better is amazing. What they do makes a real difference to people - from putting pictures up in cold, bare hallways from example, or bringing in beauticians to hospitals to give hand massages to people. If you were in hospital, would you like to just lie in bed all day? Maybe without even a TV? Or would you like to be sung to, or be visited by a lovely labrador or have a massage on your hands?

Kissing it Better does all these things! They are literally "kissing it better"....... or massaging it better!

by Kate Pryor

Liz Pryor

Liz Pryor

Inspire others: Submit your idea