Royal London Hospital children pipped at post by engineers without borders

Volunteer finalist Harriette Pearson

Volunteer finalist Harriette Pearson - Credit: QM Uni

Medical student Harriette Pearson was just pipped at the post when she was shortlisted for a national volunteering award for her project to help children in hospital.

She made it through to the top five ‘Student Volunteer of the Year’ A-List at Monday’s ceremony in the Houses of Parliament for her ‘Project Play’ at the Royal London in Whitechapel.

“I was definitely surprised by the nomination,” Harriette said. “But the event was an excellent occasion to buy a new dress.”

The 22-year-old Queen Mary University student won the judges over for getting 47 fellow students involved with youngsters in the hospital by setting up volunteer play groups at the nearby hospital.

But she was scooped by an engineering student from Bristol who picked up the award for work he had done for Engineers Without Borders.

Harriette’s project makes hospital life better with activities outside the children’s usual specialist play hours to help boost their confidence and response to treatment.

Student Hubs, which organises the yearly awards, said the judges agreed unanimously that Harriette’s project “stood out and belonged in the top five” and recognised her abilities to “overcome barriers faced by busy medical students.”