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Fort Simpson volunteers recognized for their efforts

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fort Simpson - A few Fort Simpson residents have been recognized for the effect their volunteer work has had on the lives of Long-term Care and Home Care clients over the summer.

If it wasn't for local volunteers, the clients wouldn't have had access to many of the specialized events that were organized for them, said Janice Hillaby, a rehabilitation aide with Long-term Care.

Organizing special events requires a lot of work and a lot of staff is needed, shesaid.

"I don't think the events would have been possible without the volunteers," said Hillaby.

To recognize their service, Hillaby and Sara Simons, an activity aide with Home Care, held a volunteer appreciation luncheon on Aug. 9.

Twenty-four people who have helped over the summer were invited to a barbecue and presented with a carnation and a small gift.

The volunteers have helped in many ways, said Hillaby. Some gave their time to assist with events while others decorated cakes, prepared food, provided transportation and donated prizes for bingos and other events.

Many of the volunteers began offering their assistance after participating in the first two events of the summer, the Elders in Motion walk and the Canada Day parade. People who came to those events had such a good time they asked to be contacted them when the next event arrived, said Hillaby.

Over the summer special activities have included Birthday Bingo Bashes, a carnival and two dances. Some people including Senga Simons, Jennifer Simons and Marian Johnston came out to almost every event.

The staff at Long-term Care, Home Care and the Health Centre were also very supportive and accommodating of the events, she said.

Although there won't be as many outdoor events now that the weather has started to turn cold, the volunteers were told their help will still be appreciated, said Hillaby.

The support of the volunteers has been tremendous, said Sara Simons.

"It's been a great help," she said.

Having volunteers at the facilities has a double benefit, she said.

"It's helped us and it's also friendly faces for the elders," said Simons.