One morning a week, for about 3.5 hours, you can find Natalie C. volunteering in the hospital café, serving coffee, tea, juice and snacks to patients, staff and guests.
“I volunteer with Sarah, and we have a great little system figured out in the café,” says Natalie. “Sarah serves the coffee and I take care of the money. We both give out the snacks and juice.”
Natalie says the café is “a fantastic spot to volunteer” because she gets to meet and interact with so many different people every shift: from doctors, to patients, to visitors.
Volunteering also provides Natalie with a good opportunity for learning new skills, such as customer service, which is an asset in any field.
It was the hospital’s mission, vision and values that prompted Natalie to volunteer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. “I like what the Royal stands for and it’s a completely different atmosphere than your standard general hospital,” says Natalie.
She credits her volunteer experience with teaching her how to deal with and treat people from all walks of life.
“The most rewarding part of volunteering at the Royal has been getting to know the patients and see the happiness in their eyes when they see that you have returned for another shift,” says Natalie.
“It’s comfortable for them to know there are familiar faces around, and that’s clear when you speak to the patients.”
Natalie says everyone at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Centre is “amazing” and that the people are so friendly that it’s fun to volunteer there.
“I have nothing but great things to say about my experiences at the Royal, and I hope to continue volunteering here for years to come!”