Thank you to our SickKids volunteers, whether on site, remote or waiting to return
Volunteers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) are an integral part of our SickKids family, and what better occasion than National Volunteer Week to take our hats off to them for all they do for our patients, families and staff.
Many of our volunteer programs remain on pause due to the pandemic, but we are grateful to have about 450 active volunteers, both on site and off, participating in such programs as Child Life, Research, hospital support, the Family Advisory Network, and the COVID Testing Centre (CTC).
“Volunteers are an integral part of the SickKids community and we appreciate all they do, including the 22,000 hours they contributed across different areas of the organization over the past year,” says Susan O’Dowd, Vice President, Human Resources and Commercial Services, SickKids.
“Whether assisting with important research studies, providing a parent with a much-needed break, or greeting and welcoming families, we can’t thank our volunteers enough for their dedication, commitment and their positive impact on patients, families, and staff,” says Lyne Chamelot, Director, HR Operations, Organizational Development, Talent Acquisition, and Volunteer Resources.
SickKids anticipates bringing back additional volunteers and programs later this year, and looks forward to increasing our volunteer numbers at soon as we believe it’s safe to do so.
Here is a look at some of the valued volunteers currently at SickKids, making a difference every day, and helping us realize our vision of “Healthier Children. A Better World.”
Helen is an Emergency Department Liaison. Much of her work involves greeting and speaking with families who are waiting to be called into the Emergency Department (ED) and answering any general questions that they may have. This role is important to provide support and guidance to families during what can be a stressful time.
Andria is a Research volunteer with the SEARCH (SickKids Emergency Assistants for Research in Child Health) program. Much of her work involves screening and enrolling eligible patients into multiple research studies that are recruited in the ED. The specific goals of this initiative are to provide a constant research presence in the ED to promote clinical research participation, and to educate and mentor future research and/or health-care professionals.
Tarimobo is a Child Life volunteer on the General Surgery Unit. Much of his work involves supporting patients, families, and staff by interacting with patients through play opportunities. Child Life volunteers help normalize the environment for patients, and provide parents an opportunity to take a break from their child’s bedside, or sometimes providing support to their child when they are not able to be there.
Carol is one of many Women’s Auxiliary Volunteers (WAV) whose presence at SickKids adds “an extra dimension of care to patients and families.” Their many duties include operating the 5Fifty5 gift shop (as Carol is doing above), including stocking the shop and filling online orders. In addition, WAV volunteers work in the Family Centre, the Surgical Waiting Room, and run the WAV Bravery Bead Program. Some volunteer sewers are also creating items for sale in the shop.
Therapy dogs, like Liza and Benji, and their handlers, can sometimes be found at the COVID Testing Centre. Being soft and cuddly, these pooches help put patients like Olivia at ease when receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.
Thank you to our volunteers for helping to make SickKids a better place for everyone. Wishing you a happy National Volunteer Week 2022 – you have earned it!