Once a week, Roberta Turner spends an hour reading to a stroke patient at Misericordia. “I try to choose adventure books to keep things interesting,” she said. Their visits are one of her favourite ways to pass the time.
Roberta began volunteering with Misericordia three years ago. At that time, she spent her volunteer hours escorting residents to mass in the Spiritual Care program. “I’ve become friends with one woman living at Misericordia Place. Even though I no longer help her go to mass, I still like to visit her whenever I’m at Misericordia,” Roberta said.
Today Roberta volunteers as an ambassador of Misericordia. The ambassador program is a trial project that began earlier this year to provide guidance to visitors. When visitors and patients arrive at Misericordia, they can count on the ambassadors – located at the Wolseley Avenue entrance – to help them navigate the health centre. The program also allows volunteers like Roberta the flexibility to do crossword puzzles or read in between helping people.
Both of Roberta’s parents were patients at Misericordia when it was still a hospital and she has also brought her son to urgent care. She is delighted to give back to the health centre that has helped her family so often in the past.
A volunteer’s perspective on redevelopment
Before retiring, Roberta worked in administration for Legal Aid at the University of Manitoba. She feels the connection between the U of M and Misericordia for the ophthalmology residency program is an important one that will benefit many.
“I’m looking forward to Misericordia’s redevelopment and everything it will do for patients and for the community,” Roberta said. “I especially think the rooftop garden and solarium will be wonderful for long-term residents. It’s good to update.”