Back in 2004, the hospital chaplain contacted Mothers’ Union to ask if they would be prepared to offer coffee, cake and conversation to the parents who are living at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in order to be near their children. These parents needed people outside of the medical profession to offer them some friendly care.
This initiative is now well established, with a team of 40 members working on a rota basis; the key skill needed is being a good listener. A member shares just one of the many occasions when they have been able to offer comfort:
One parent knew that her child was about to die. Her husband couldn’t get to the hospital because of the Tottenham riots. She suddenly remembered it was Tuesday and the Mothers’ Union would be there. She came to find us and we offered her words of comfort and silent prayer. The baby didn’t die till the Thursday by which time his daddy and brothers had come to say goodbye