A raft of job openings for non-humans has opened at a children’s hospital – with cuddly worry monsters needed to help relieve sick kids’ concerns.
The hand-crafted creatures will listen to youngsters and gobble up any of their anxieties while they are undergoing treatment.
The Archie Foundation says the new staff will be vital in helping children express themselves – and the charity is urging knitters to help it source the new workers.
Interested applicants are being asked to post themselves to the organisation’s base at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, as part of a new campaign.
Heather Beattie, the hospital’s play services manager, said the ideal candidates must be proficient in offering hugs and reassurance.
“We tried worry pencil cases and worry jars before,” she said, “but we’d really like to have worry monsters.”
Heather explained: “The children can write or draw a picture about what is worrying them and then pop it into the monster’s mouth.
“Then it’s zipped away and the monster eats up the worry, so it becomes the monster’s job to take care of it.
“Children express themselves through play – that’s how they learn to cope with everyday life – so this is an ideal medium for them.
“We’re going to use them to help them with any thoughts or questions they have with specific things such as hospitals, illness or procedures.”
Desired skills and qualifications
For some children, the act of writing or drawing the worry and feeding it to their monster can be enough to put their mind at ease.
But any knitted creatures interested in the role must be able to demonstrate clear communication skills.
“For children, and even for adults sometimes, it can be easier to talk through a third object,” Heather said.
Calling knitters and crafters our play and bereavement support teams are in real need of worry monsters here at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital AB25 2ZG – could you make and post to us! @SaraDaviesCC @SimplyKnitMag @Hobbycraft @PrimaMag @bakerrossltd @CraftersCompUK #support pic.twitter.com/Mk4EaF6xwS
— ARCHIE Grampian (@archiegrampian) June 23, 2021
“The monsters give the child the opportunity or the permission they sometimes feel they need to express these things.
“But often the monster will need a little bit of adult help to digest the worry.
“So we can ask the child if it’s okay for us to see it, and they can share that worry with us as professionals and then we can start a conversation.
“Or sometimes the monsters will write a reply to the children’s questions to help them make sense of things.”
Previous work experience
Monsters interested in the posts are not required to have any previous experience in the field.
In fact, The Archie Foundation would prefer creatures specially made for this purpose.
The charity has made knitting patterns available for humans wanting to help the cause, with all manner of options for types of arms, eyes, paws, lips and even horns.
Heather added: “We’re so excited and really looking forward to having this resource that we can use for whatever we need – whether that’s more structured therapeutic work or to give away to a child to use themselves.
“We’d like to be able to give them to lots of children who come to the hospital for any worries they may have in their life.”
Applicants are asked to mail themselves to the Archie Foundation’s office at RACH, Westburn Road, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZG.
The job advert is open ended with no deadline, and monsters are not required to send a CV, cover letter or provide references of past employment.
Further inquiries regarding the post can be made by emailing email@example.com or calling 01224 559559.