April 29, 2022
April 24 – 30 marks National Volunteer Week, and it is a perfect opportunity to highlight the immeasurable contributions of those who selflessly decide to lend a helping hand.
This year's theme is "Compassion in Action," and there is no more appropriate place to show compassion than in a hospital, where giving a moment of relief or support can mean a lot.
Engaging others with kindness, sensitivity, and respect is how we understand Compassion at LHSC. The following story proves how this value serves as a guide to making our patients the centre of everything we do.
Part of life
Jan DeRose is a retired LHSC physiotherapist who has also dedicated twenty-five years of her life to volunteering at LHSC. As an employee, Jan was awarded the LHSC President's Award for Community Service in 2008 and continues to exhibit that commitment to community service.
While working at LHSC, she volunteered with the Sibling Tours, a program run by the May Court Club of London.
"I joined the May Court Club of London in 1996. Children's Hospital and the Women's Care Program at London Health Sciences Centre approached this leading women's volunteer organization to do a sibling program for families having their second child. It involved touring the birthing centre, learning about a new baby, how to be a helper, and of course, a puppet show. It was great fun with the children," she says.
The members of May Court have been very committed to this program, managing to "graduate" more than 800 siblings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tours had to be paused. The May Court Club of London decided not to resume this program.
Jan recently agreed to volunteer again in a different capacity with LHSC and has joined the Orthopedic Clinic team at Victoria Hospital to continue her journey in providing support to our patients and visitors.
Although much has changed throughout the pandemic, her commitment to volunteering has not wavered. Volunteering is a part of her life instilled by her parents and brother, who were very involved with community volunteers in Sudbury, Jan's hometown.
"Volunteering in the hospital allows us to get involved with the most vulnerable people who need support. 'Compassion in Action' is what happens every day at the hospital. A kind word goes a long way in relieving anxiety. Every interaction with patients and their families is essential, and my years working at LHSC have been a good training ground for further involvement as a volunteer," she remarks.