Every weekday afternoon two or three young people arrive at the Dr. Andrew Pavillion.
They don red and white aprons and spend the next hour and a half with the residents who live here.
These volunteers are part of the Candy Stripers and Health Care Cadets Program.
On this particular afternoon they are playing bingo with a group of eight. Other days they may be baking, cooking, doing crafts, or reading to them.
Every day before leaving, they tie on each person’s dinner apron.
Coordinator of Volunteers, Carol Patené explains that the program is sponsored by the Summerland Hospital Healthcare Auxilary.
Her role with Interior Health is to register the volunteers, make sure they have the proper orientation and training.
They then work under the direction of the Activity Coordinator, Pamela Hinchliffe who said,
“I really appreciate having them here. For the residents to have young people here, is a real benefit.”
She also expressed the fact that seniors are often isolated in facilities, and that this is a way to bring the community in to them.
Patené pointed out, “It’s about relationships and learning new skills. It’s also good for their portfolios and resumes.”
Three of the young volunteers voiced what the program meant to them.
Hannah Wright said, “I love it, it’s so much fun. I like seeing the people smile and have a good time. I get enjoyment from that. It’s like a grandparent family here.”
Sukhmeet Saran likes meeting people, the workers as well as the residents. She likes how it makes her feel, to be doing something good in the community.
Emily Okabe enjoys being with older people.
“Elders are really important. They have so much experience and wisdom,” she said.
As the afternoon bingo game came to an end, the volunteers’ efforts were rewarded as a gentleman wheeled away from the table saying, “keep up the good work and thanks for coming. You made our day a little bit brighter.”
If you know a positive story about someone in our community contact Carla McLeod at [email protected] or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.