As the youth volunteer program at St. Joseph’s General Hospital continues to grow, more adult volunteers are needed to supervise.
One adult supervising for just two hours a week means that up to six students have an opportunity to learn and contribute.
Youth volunteers are students from Grades 8 to 12 who volunteer for a couple of hours after school, once a week. These students are motivated, respectful and fun to supervise. They provide a bright spot in the days of patients and residents at St. Joe’s, and are also a help to staff.
Sue Simmons, a resident at The Views, said, “I’m so grateful for the time we spend together. I don’t think that I was that altruistic as a teenager.”
During the 2010-11 school year, St. Joseph’s had 50 youth volunteers, who gave almost 2,500 hours. This year there will be 54 shifts available; all are expected to be filled, with some students left on the waiting list.
With program changes and the normal turnover for a variety of reasons, up to seven new supervisors will be needed this year.
The program has two streams. Junior volunteers are active in The Views residential care and the Candystriper program, run by St. Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary, covers medical, surgical, obstetrics and transitional care areas and. Both these areas need supervisors.
Becoming a youth supervisor does not require special skills, just an ability to walk without difficulty, as there is a lot of ground to cover. Training is provided and support is always available.
Most important is enjoying the company of young people, providing consistent guidance and being willing to invest some time in keeping your team happy and organized.
To find out more about volunteering at St. Joseph’s Hospital, call Janice at 250-890-3030.
— St. Joseph’s General Hospital