Thank You, Volunteers!

Thank You, Volunteers!

Thank You, Volunteers!

Volunteers are critical to our vision of a world class health care system, and as National Volunteer Week comes to a close, we wanted to say thank you for everything you do for the hospital and our community.

Throughout the week, we shared the stories of John, Justin, Ed and Joyce, four of our incredible volunteers at Grand River Hospital. Learn all about their different volunteer roles, why they got involved and continue to volunteer in support of the Hospital, and how they make a big difference just by volunteering!

Headshot for Volunteer John Lindsay

John Lindsay has a personal connection to Grand River Hospital that led him to become a volunteer.

“As a former Grand River Hospital patient, I felt a great desire to give back to both the Hospital and the community,” John told us.

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Photo of Volunteer Justin Hammond on a camping trip

Volunteers Are Here to HELP

Meet Justin Hammond, a Grand River Hospital volunteer who has taken on numerous roles throughout the Hospital since he began volunteering in January 2018.

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Volunteer Ed Cober and his grandson

After two years of accompanying his wife to dialysis, Ed decided to become a volunteer to pass the time and help others while she attended treatment. That was nine years ago, and Ed has been volunteering at Grand River Hospital ever since.

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Headshot for volunteer Joyce Bell

Joyce Bell was Grand River Regional Cancer Centre’s very first volunteer when it opened in 2004. More recently, Joyce had the honour of being the first volunteer to return to the Cancer Centre following the Omicron-fuelled wave of the pandemic.

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Not only do volunteers make a significant difference for patients, care partners, and visitors at the hospital, but they are also incredibly appreciated by the staff. We've received many enthusiastic words of gratitude from the clinical staff at the hospital, and we wanted to share some of their remarks that highlight just a few of the ways in which volunteers have a profound impact on Grand River Hospital:

“Our volunteers are key members of our team at front registration of the Cancer Centre. They help guide patients to their appointments throughout the Cancer Centre and answer questions on where they need to be. They are a familiar face to our patients and bring comfort to them every day!” – Sara Kaune, Grand River Regional Cancer Centre

“We have had patients asking when their favourite volunteer is coming back again, as they had so much fun with them. There are also some patients that have had repeat admissions or clinic visits that are able to build relationships with the volunteers throughout their multiple visits. This is certainly something the parents and families look forward to.” – Brittaney Arbuthnott, Child Life Specialist

“Volunteers support patients, Grand River Hospital staff and family members each and every day in Patient Registration on the second floor of the KW Campus ... Thank you to our Volunteers for going the extra [mile] and for sharing your kindness with all of us.  We are so happy to have you here!” Colleen Backewich, Manager Patient Access Flow

“[The Hospital Elder Life Program] relies entirely on our volunteers to perform its six core interventions ... These highly trained and dedicated volunteers are the heart, soul and strength of this program, making sure that seniors in our care are given the support they need to maintain quality of life. We truly couldn’t do it without them!” – The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) Team 

Our sincerest thanks to every single one of you who has given your time to supporting Grand River Hospital. Whether you volunteer at the Hosptial, from home, in the community, or in any other way, we couldn't do it without you!

To learn more about our volunteer program, visit