The Red Cross health equipment loan program in Prince Rupert is calling out for more volunteers. (File photo)

Demand is up 20 per cent at the health equipment loan depot in Rupert

Volunteer base for the Red Cross program hasn’t grown to meet the demand

In the past five years, the health equipment loan program in Prince Rupert has seen increasing demand and yet a decline in volunteers.

Sandra Sawtell, coordinator for client services of the health equipment loan program, is at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital on Wednesday, July 11, in the hopes of introducing the initiative to more prospective volunteers.

The depot has been at the hospital for at least 30 years, Sawtell said. While demand has grown 20 per cent in the past five years, the volunteer base has dwindled to four individuals. The health equipment depot, based in the hospital, is only open Thursdays.

“The goal is to increase those hours to get more volunteers to serve more people in the community,” Sawtell said.

“It’s a very valuable community service. Volunteers work with the health care providers out of our health care site, and they don’t need experience. Full training is provided for by Red Cross.”

The program has a couple long-term volunteers, including Gerda Kouwenhoven, who has dedicated her time at the loan facility for 25 years, and Josie Mackey who started volunteering in 2003 after her retirement.

Volunteers loan equipment on a short-term basis to patients and health providers, and follow up with the patients to have the equipment returned. They also ask for donations, and perform other office duties.

Ideally, Sawtell would like to see another four volunteers sign up to be able to open the depot for another day in the week.

People can sign up online and get more information by coming to the open house on Wednesday, July 11 from 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

“It’s satisfying work to do. Patients are always happy to receive the equipment when they’re going through a difficult time,” Sawtell said. “Without our volunteers this service wouldn’t be possible.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: 47-year-old man arrested after nine hour police standoff

Prince Rupert RCMP used specialized tactics to apprehend the man wanted for assault with a weapon

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

Monster trucks caught in action in Terrace, B.C.

Equality and more jobs in coal terminal’s future

Ridley Terminals Inc. shipments out of Prince Rupert increased by 90 per cent in 2017

Squatters’ campfire leads to emergency response

Prince Rupert fire crews responded to smoke near Roosevelt Elementary School on July 17

CMTN First Nations Fine Arts program offers new advanced diploma

The 10-month program will focus on enhancing jewellery, sculpture and marketing skills

Community garden in Prince Rupert takes shape

Transition Prince Rupert lays foundation for shared edible garden on Overlook

Newspaper carriers wanted!

Contact The Northern View today to find out how you can become a part of our team

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read