Service League celebrates 75 years of giving

April 18, 2012

Service League volunteersService League of London volunteers Brigitte Davidson, President, (left) and Maria Beadle, Vice President, celebrate 75 years of service at London Health Sciences Centre. A new plaque unveiled by London Health Sciences Foundation in the Mother Baby Care Unit waiting area recognizes the Service League, which generously supports the unit through donations from its Debut Baby Photos program.

The Service League of London at London Health Sciences Centre proudly celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The Service League has made a significant commitment to volunteering and fundraising, including its signature program Debut Baby Photos to raise money for the Mother Baby Care Unit at Victoria Hospital.

Much has changed over the years since the Service League was formed. In 1937, the Service League volunteer was more likely to be a young stay-at-home mom who spent her time planning elaborate events to raise money for the Service League work.

Today, the Service League volunteer is closer to retirement age and spends her time at the hospital talking with new parents about having a photo of their newborn taken at the hospital or actually taking the photo.

The Service League brings a rich history to the hospital.

  • This dedicated group funded the first social worker at Victoria Hospital in the 1950s
  • In 1960 the Service League started a pilot project to provide housekeeping services for discharged patients who needed assistance at home. By the mid 1960s this became the Red Cross Homemaker Service.
  • The Service League began Debut Baby Photos in 1975 as a steady source of income.
  • The Service League started a telephone reassurance plan for patients concerned with their health who had no relatives or friends close at hand.
  • Volunteers donate supplies to make up baby bundles for unprepared parents.
  • The Service League provides ongoing monthly donations to the Social Work department to cover emergency costs for patients and families in need.

Since 1937, the Service League has generously donated more than $500,000 to the hospital.

“We congratulate the Service League on their 75th anniversary. Throughout their rich history at our hospital -- with the Debut Baby Photos which build wonderful memories for young families, with the foresight to hire the first social worker at Victoria Hospital, and with ongoing financial contributions –- the Service League volunteers have made a significant difference to the lives of our patients and their families,” says Bonnie Adamson, LHSC President and CEO.

Maria Beadle, Vice President, Service League of London, says “Over the 75 years, the volunteers of Service League have worked to meet the needs of various services at Victoria Hospital.  Looking back over 75 years of success and diversified projects, encourages us in 2012 to continue to look to the future and raise dollars for the ongoing needs of people helped by the social work department and the babies and parents of the mother baby care unit. We thank the London Health Sciences Centre for the support of our efforts.”