Since the beginning of the year, Guy’s and St Thomas’ have had 24 visits from school girls aged seven and eight to help inspire the next generation of NHS workers.
The girls from across south London have met staff across medical, research and other careers as part of the joint programme with I Can Be, a charity which has a particular focus on encouraging more women into scientific careers.
The school girls learnt about stem cell research, types of bacteria and treatments, and speech and language therapy.
Jakki Brandon, a research nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, has led sessions showing girls how she prepares newborns for MRI scans.
“I wanted to get involved with I Can Be, not only because I feel strongly about providing opportunities for children and young people to learn about potential careers, but also because I’m passionate about my job,” she said.
“I feel really privileged to be in a role and a team which contributes to valuable research and healthcare.
“I felt that if I could help to spread that message in any way to children and young people then that would be hugely rewarding.”
In another visit, our researcher Emily Read taught girls about cells and bacteria by making petri dish art.
Several of the girls who took part now want to be scientists.
Anastasia de Waal, founding director at I Can Be, said: “The visits to Guy’s and St Thomas’ have gone really well.
“That so many professionals, with important and busy jobs, wanted to give their time to inspire girls was overwhelming, and not something we’ve seen in many of the industries we work within.
“The staff have planned exciting and imaginative activities for the children, finding practical ways to teach them about complex things.
“The hands-on approach the volunteers have taken, and the time spent carefully planning these activities, makes the visits really special.
“The volunteers are having a big impact on the children and making such an impression that many now want to follow in their footsteps.”