Hospital manager’s new China challenge aiming to change attitudes

Helen Kay with Jian Xin, the boy she sponsors
Helen Kay with Jian Xin, the boy she sponsors

A HOSPITAL manager from Sheffield is looking forward to a new challenge when she travels to China as the UK chairwoman of an international charity supporting abandoned youngsters.

Helen Kay, aged 37, has been volunteering with the International China Concern charity since 2004, travelling to the country each year to give her time working in orphanages with disabled children who have been abandoned by their families because of their special needs.

Now she has taken on the role of UK chair for the organisation, with the trip later this month set to be the first she has undertaken in the new position.

It means she will travel to three different projects managed by the charity in China, two within the Hunan province and a third in the province of Henan, to see the work going on there.

Helen, a general manager at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said: “I went out for the first time in 2004 and just fell in love with the kids. I’ve been back every year since, spending time in the orphanages, playing with the children, doing some caring duties, and just generally showing them some love and affection.

“This time it will be different though because I will be there as chairman. It means I’ll be travelling around to three different projects and will get to see even more of the work that we’re doing over there which I’m really looking forward to.”

Helen, from Woodseats, said the charity’s work is about providing love and support.

But, she adds, it is also about changing society’s views.

Helen said: “What we are doing has to be sustainable.We have to support the Chinese as they work out how they are going to develop the various agencies that we take for granted here like the NHS and social services. It’s about changing attitudes and helping them work out how it will work for them.”

Log on to www.chinaconcern.org for information.