Grace has a passion for helping!
“My volunteering at the Guelph General Hospital began when as a member of the Salvation Army, I visited patients on a monthly basis” says Grace Welch, “and Salvation Sounds, the singing group I am a part of that would visit and sing throughout the hospital.” Grace continues “we were always well-received by both staff and patients and after a meaningful career in nursing, I realized that even though I’d retired and left the hospital, the ‘nursey’ part of me was still there, and I needed something more.”
As a retired nurse, from St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph, Grace has been a volunteer at the hospital for 12 years and volunteers twice a week to the Surgical Day Unit. Grace also supports the hospital as a trainer of new volunteers and as part of the Salvation Sounds who sing at the Memorial Services hosted at the hospital to remember those who have passed. “This provides comfort to the friends and family members of those who have lost a loved one” says Laura Hutchings, Director, Volunteer Resources, Student Registration & Spiritual Care.
“Grace has a passion for helping in the health care field” shares Laura “she shares her excitement to be able to help patients and models these attributes for new volunteers.” All of these qualities come through when she is interacting with patients and are part of how she contributes to the hospital mission of providing the highest quality experience for patients and their families.”
“Being a former nurse, I’ve had to ‘learn’ how to be a volunteer” says Grace, “the nurse part of me loves the atmosphere and busyness of the Day Surgery Unit. For patients and families who come in with apprehension and anticipation, as a volunteer, I reassure and find answers to questions. I also support the staff and assist by escorting people using wheelchairs, after their treatments, out to the cars for their ride home. What I hear over and over again is ‘Thank you. Everybody was so kind’”
Grace has had many highlight moments during her volunteer tenure but shares that “the warm welcome I receive, from staff, every time I appear on the scene, is ‘priceless’. They are always quick to express their gratitude; I highly recommend volunteering at Guelph General Hospital. There are many varied opportunities in which to serve.”
When not volunteering, Grace loves to sing and with friends, is still a member of Salvation Sounds Ministry. Grace continues to share her spirit and love of music through singing with a vocal group at Hospice Wellington. Grace shares “I’m fortunate to have my family nearby and so happily, help out with walking our giant schnauzer, and with driving my grandchildren to activities.”
To learn more about the Guelph General Hospital, visit gghorg.ca.