Teddy Bear Hospital society president Issy Soans tells us why she loves supporting schools local to her university in Keele.

How many students can say that they were in a lecture at noon and then performing surgery on a unicorn at 2pm? That’s a typical Wednesday for volunteers in Teddy Bear Hospital! 

What is teddy bear hospital?

Teddy Bear Hospital is a scheme run by different medical schools all around the UK made up of volunteers studying medicine, nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy and pharmacy. All of our volunteers are required to have an enhanced DBS certificate provided by the university as well as attending our annual child safeguarding and volunteer training event.

Teddy Bear Hospital has played a huge role in my medical school experience so far.

Teddy Bear Hospital was set up to try and reduce the anxiety children often feel around healthcare professionals by teaching them a bit about what we do in a fun and informative way. Each medical school teaches a different curriculum. At Keele, we are incredibly lucky to have expanded our programme to teach both 4-5 year olds and 10-11 year olds.

We typically visit the schools on a Wednesday afternoon during the time allocated for sports. Depending on the age group, we run a variety of stations covering topics such as asthma, operations, healthy eating and mental health. Each station is run by two volunteers and we usually split the children into groups, with 12 children at each station so they are able to get more involved. We encourage all the children to bring in their teddy bears for the day to help them practice their new skills such as brushing their teeth or holding their paw while they are getting ready for "surgery".