A role that’s made-to-fit

Nancy Marshall volunteering at Aberdeen Hospital.

From April 15-21, NSHA is honouring National Volunteer Week. This week we’re celebrating the amazing contribution of the 7,000 dedicated members of our community who make a difference, big and small to the well-being of patients, families, clients and residents. Thank you.

With a team of 7,000 volunteers and 800 volunteer programs provincewide, there is seemingly a volunteer placement within NSHA to fit anyone interested – and if there’s not, the health authority will work to create one.

Nancy Marshall, of New Glasgow, wanted an opportunity to give back to her community, but challenges with accessibility made finding the right match difficult.

“I wanted to make a difference, but I wasn’t sure if I’d find a place,” explained Nancy.

Nancy lives in Glen Haven Manor, a long-term care facility, and relies on a wheelchair for mobility. Her ability to volunteer was dependent on the town’s accessible transit schedule. Martin Fisher, NSHA Volunteer Resources Consultant for Pictou and Colchester East Hants, visited Nancy at her home to discuss her interests and how she could translate these into a volunteer program.

“Nancy has a passion for people, art and making people smile,” said Martin. “She was a natural fit to support the transitional care unit.”

For the last three years, Nancy has run a morning program at Aberdeen Hospital’s Transitional Care Unit. Her day-to-day consists of supporting patients with crafts, trivia, BINGO, history projects, word searches and games like ‘Name that Tune.’

“I wasn’t sure what I’d be good at doing,” said Nancy. “But I encourage people and help people and create positivity. I like that I can make someone’s day a bit brighter.”

Even greater than making a lasting impact on patients she supports every day, Nancy is an inspiration to the other volunteers, Martin explained.

“Despite the challenges Nancy faces with accessibility, she always shows up. Her colleagues think, ‘if Nancy made it here – there’s no reason why I can’t,” he said. “She’s a wonderful volunteer.”