Alice Matthews is hoping her extensive volunteering work at Alder Hey Hospital will help her realise a childhood dream.
The 19-year-old Child Nursing student, awarded an Excellence Scholarship, helps run a Saturday Arts and Craft club for children, having herself been a patient at the hospital.
“The care that I received as a patient was incredible, and I wanted to give something back because they had given so much to me,” she said.
“From a young age I had always wanted to be a nurse. Through my volunteering at Alder Hey, and through placements at college, I learnt that Children’s Nursing was the field for me.”
From Crosby, Liverpool, Alice is enjoying life at Edge Hill, admitting that the University was always her first choice.
“All the staff are lovely; the campus is beautiful and it’s not too far from home. I didn’t want to move far away because I wanted to continue with my voluntary work.”
Her club at Alder Hey has continued to grow in popularity, having filled a niche when the hospital is quieter. It is something she enjoys, helping put smiles on young people’s faces.
“It started off small with just a few children, and now it has expanded and lots of children join in. We also take activities up to the wards for the children who are not able to leave their beds so that they are still able to join in, too. It is something they look forward to and I feel privileged to be able to be a part of it.
“Hospital is not the most exciting place to be in, but seeing children smile and knowing that you have made a difference to their day is enough for me.”
Although Alice has enjoyed placements at other hospitals during her studies, she admits Alder Hey is where she enjoys working most – and is somewhere she would like to work in future.
“All the placements I have been on were amazing, but Alder Hey is a step above. It is more modern than other hospitals I have worked in and patients seem to be happier. Patient experience is extremely important, but from the patients I have had the pleasure of talking to, their experience at Alder Hey has been a happy one.
“Once I qualify, I would love to work as a Children’s Nurse in Alder Hey. It would be amazing to start my journey as a qualified nurse in the hospital where it all began.”