Joan Ng - Peer Volunteer
Today, we're chatting with Joan Ng, one of our dedicated Peer Volunteers. Peer Volunteers support the Family Volunteers and the professional care team by acting as a friend to children on our program and their siblings. They play, do arts and crafts, play computer games, and generally interact with the child on a companion to companion basis. Peer volunteers are trained and can be found around the hospice seven days a week between 9 am and 9 pm.
Read on for Joan's thoughts on Canuck Place...
How long have you been volunteering at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice?
Since August 2007...so almost 5 years and over 650 hours!
What’s your favourite kind of Canuck Place cookie?
The kind with cranberries and huge chocolate chunks. Omnomnom!
Describe yourself in five words.
Responsible, musical, empathetic, quirky, caring
Share your favourite or most meaningful moment you’ve experienced as a hospice volunteer.
One night at the hospice, I was granted the almighty task of looking after a very irritated, very uncomfortable infant boy. The nurses were having a difficult time calming him down and needed someone to soothe him before nebulizer time, and so into my lap he went. As I held him, he kept on crying and squirming like a little caterpillar, but he seemed to calm down a bit as I chattered to him in Chinese. When the nebulizer came, again he started wailing and flailing as I held the mask to his chubby, red, distraught little face, and he even grabbed the back of my mask-holding hand to wipe his nose with. But nebulizer fizzed to completion, and soon it was time for bed. After a bit more crying on his part and complete exhaustion of my limited repertoire of Chinese nursery rhymes on my part, he quieted down and fell asleep eventually.
About half a year later, I went up to the kids counter after dinner and was met by a little boy who was toddling around all by himself. At first I wasn't sure if I met him, but then I saw those same furrowed eyebrows that I had seen before, only this time, they weren't sitting above tearful eyes, but curious ones! Although he might not have recognized me, this was one of my favourite moments because it made me so happy to see him again and to know that he is doing well. Despite having volunteered at Canuck Place for some time, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the children grow up.
Why volunteer? What brought you to Canuck Place?
When I first started at Canuck Place, I was in my last year of high school, and knew that I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. Having the privilege to spend time with the children, family members, staff, and other volunteers gave me an insight into the unique healthcare niche in BC that is Canuck Place Children's Hospice. It has helped me to grow as an individual, and has continually confirmed for me that my mission in life is to help others in a healthcare setting. Whether I am having difficult days throughout the school year or having stressful days at work, I am constantly reminded of this life goal that I discovered at Canuck Place and that motivates me to complete my pharmacy degree. A classmate, a few years younger than I, once said to me, "But you're too old to volunteer!" And I said to her, "One can never be too old to volunteer." Volunteering has always been an enlightening experience for me. I will continue to be a part of the Canuck Place volunteer family in the hopes of perhaps making a difference in children's lives, as they have already done so for me.
- Search for other volunteer opportunities...
- National resource for Canadian volunteers...
- Link to Vantage Point's website... (formerly known as Volunteer Vancouver)
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- Canuck Place Volunteers’ stories included in latest publication
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- Nita shares her experience of volunteering at Canuck Place.