Colleen Noble is one of hundreds of volunteers who have generously given their time to enhance the experience for patients and families at BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre.
For National Volunteer Week, which runs until April 25, we wanted to profile Colleen and her contributions.
(Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and advice to limit people on-site at BC Women's, we chose to suspend volunteering at the sites as of March 2020. This was a difficult decision as volunteers enhance patient care and are valued colleagues. We look forward to the time when we can re-engage volunteers at our sites.)
Colleen volunteers with the Comfort Care Program in the nursery of the Family-in-Recovery (FIR Square) Program. Along with a multi-disciplinary team of health care providers, Colleen's role entails providing support to expectant women and new mothers using substances and infants exposed to these substances. Colleen's warmth and non-judgmental attitude make her an ideal volunteer providing support while at the same time, respecting limitations, boundaries and confidentiality.
After retiring from a successful career in insurance, Colleen started volunteering in 2009 as a Gift Cart volunteer at BC Women's. As an extension of the BC Women's Gift Shop, volunteers on the Gift Cart visit and offer patients on the maternity units the opportunity to purchase items like personal hygiene products, infant clothing, baby blankets and maternity necessities such as breast pumps. This service enables women who are on bed rest or otherwise unable to leave their rooms to make much-needed purchases for their newest additions.
Colleen then switched over to volunteering in the BC Women's Auxiliary Gift Shop and eventually added another assignment at the new information desk as a Navigation & Wayfinding volunteer. Meeting, greeting and helping people as a Navigation volunteer was something Colleen enjoyed immensely and she excelled in this role.
Colleen served as the vice president on the board of the Auxiliary to BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre for one term then became the president from 2012-2014. The auxiliary is a separately incorporated provincial society and federally registered charity. In this role, Colleen helped oversee the activities of the auxiliary, which raises vital funding for medical equipment, research and support to various BC Women's programs like the Family Emergency Fund.
Colleen loves seeing all the young volunteers coming onboard at BC Women' to support the Gift Shop and other new programs like the Fetal Diagnostic Services: http://www.bcwomens.ca/our-services/pregnancy-prenatal-care/complications-in-pregnancy/fetal-diagnosis-service. Colleen was instrumental in providing mentoring to the new youth volunteers assigned with her at the Navigation Station. In return, they amaze and inspire her to continue her dedicated role at the hospital.