With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, some hospital volunteer activities were suspended and the number of volunteers on-site were scaled back. But over the past year, in accordance with public health recommendations and with the help of 585 volunteers who donated over 37,000 hours of their time to both BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre – many programs were able to be revived. Programs include off-campus thrift stores, two gift shops, helping patients and families navigate their way through our large campus, dog therapy, gardening, holiday programs, research and our family support and resource centres.
Meet some of our dedicated volunteers who are at the heart of our successful programs:
- Lana began volunteering in 2019 and has contributed an impressive 485 hours. She has participated in a number of programs, but her primary role has been as a member of the navigation team. Her consistent dedication and work with patients and visitors led to her being selected as one of the navigation trainers in 2021, utilizing her depth of knowledge and skills for training new volunteers. She recently became involved with the Child Life team in the Sunny Hill Health Centre, gaining even more knowledge and skills while providing support to the patients and care teams.
- Laura began volunteering in January 2020 at both the Main Street and Commercial Drive thrift shops, contributing over 400 hours of her time to date. Arman began volunteering in January 2021 at the Still Fabulous Thrift shop on Commercial Drive and has given over 200 hours of service. Arman and Laura became ‘Tuesday teammates’ on shift at the Commercial Drive thrift shop and made the move to the BC Women’s Hospital Gift Shop together the end of 2021. As a result of their efforts, the Gift Shop is now able to be open five days a week for the first time since the pandemic began.
- Judy began as a volunteer in the Auxiliary Thrift Shop. She then moved into a role as a tutor in the eating disorders day program, supporting patients so they could complete assignments and grow confidence in their academic ability as they transitioned back to school. Judy has also spent time as an emergency department patient and family ambassador liaison, as well as a Child Life volunteer in the oncology unit. Now, in her current role as recreation therapy volunteer in the Sunny Hill Health Centre, Judy enjoys playing board games and getting to know the patients.
- Edgar began his volunteering at with the navigation and wayfinding team. He then went on to be involved with the Still Fabulous Thrift Shop, the Child Life program, the RICHER clinic and currently he serves as emergency department patient and family ambassador liaison. Edgar considers it his lucky day when a patient wants to play Mario Kart, UNO or toy cars. He hopes someday he gets to work with children as a professional, be it in public health or as a physician or educator.
, within the Patient Experience
portfolio, provides volunteer support for BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre. The coordinating team are responsible for the recruitment, selection and assignment of volunteers for a variety of patient and service-based areas within all three facilities.