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

Northern First Nations partnership reshaping government’s approach to reconciliation

Kaska, Tahltan and Tlingit First Nations share Premier’s Award for Innovation with ministry

Prince Rupert Rampage to start a brief road trip

The Prince Rupert Rampage head out east on a road trip to Williams Lake and Quesnel.

Shames Mountain keeps bunny hill free

Co-op wants to make the sport more accessible for beginners

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

This Week – Episode 111

Selena Horne, Charles Hays high school musical star, co-hosts the Northern View’s weekly show

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Quesnel fed up with detour, urges Ottawa to speed up road repair

West Fraser Road has been on detour since spring 2018, with no plans to repair washout until 2020

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Most Read