Niagara Health celebrates our more than 850 volunteers

Three local women who have recorded an outstanding 50 years of service each to Niagara Health will be part of a group of 850 passionate and caring Volunteers and Auxilians honoured this week as part of celebrations marking National Volunteer Week. 

Phyllis Drake, Nell Brest Van Kempen and Marilyn Irvine began volunteering with the St. Catharines Hospital Auxiliary in 1968 and credit their commitment to healthcare and the lifelong friendships they made over a half a century for their longtime service.

The trio will be among other hospital volunteers who will attend an appreciation dinner on Monday, April 23 hosted by Niagara Health.

“Our volunteers at Niagara Health are very special people who always give just a little bit more to ensure a caring environment for our patients and visitors. The services and programs volunteers provide are an invaluable support that complements the work of our staff,” says Pauline Carroll, Niagara Health Coordinator of Volunteer Resources. 

Niagara Health volunteers are an integral part of our hospitals, devoting their time to deliver extraordinary patient-centred care in a number of departments including: Information Desk, Emergency Department, Mental Health, Outpatient Clinics, Surgical Services, the Walker Family Cancer Centre, Women’s and Babies, Dialysis Unit, Diabetes Centre, Long Term Care, and Occupational Therapy.

Our volunteers also support the important work of Niagara Health Foundation and the auxiliaries by raising money for equipment through Gift Shops, lottery ticket sales and other resource-generating ventures.

Some of our volunteer programs include:

  • Friendly Visiting 
  • Information and welcome desk services
  • Patient satisfaction surveys
  • Electronic patient experience measurement surveys
  • Music and Memory program
  • Orthopedic clinic volunteers

To learn more about how you can join our extraordinary team of volunteers with Niagara Health, please visit:https://www.niagarahealth.on.ca/site/volunteer-resources

Here’s what some of the 50-year volunteers had to say about their time with Niagara Health:

Phyllis Drake

“I’m very passionate about the healthcare system and I care about my community. I firmly believe in the healthcare system. As a former nurse, it is very important to me. My whole outlook has always been focused on healthcare.”

Nell Brest Van Kempen                                                                                                                    

“I simply love every minute of it. It makes me feel good.”

Marilyn Irvine

“I have met so many friendly and interesting people that I am still friends with today. We enjoy a lot of laughs and lunches!”