International Volunteer Day (IVD) is a global celebration of volunteers. Every year, it takes place on December 5 to shine a light on the impact of volunteer efforts everywhere. United Nations Volunteers founded International Volunteer Day in 1985.
This special day promotes the work of volunteers at all levels, including local, national and international.
This impact has been felt locally in Prairie Mountain Health, especially during the present pandemic. Under normal conditions, Prairie Mountain Health engages approximately 1400 volunteers in various placements throughout the region’s sites and programs, including community-based programs. This represents a contribution of some 50,000 hours annually, not including the efforts of charitable organizations such as Foundations and Auxiliaries.
The Covid 19 pandemic altered this contribution significantly with the suspension of all-volunteer participation in March 2020.
PMH has built a framework to see the return of volunteer involvement during the pandemic safely. This volunteer contribution has been notably supportive of the significant daily changes to health service delivery. PMH has had approximately 60 individuals across nine communities who have registered to participate in pandemic related placements contributing 490 hours at rural sites and 2360 hours within Brandon. Also, Westman Laboratory volunteers have been instrumental in assisting with additional screening and flow of clients through the Westman Lab outpatient clinic.
Since April, Brandon Regional Health Centre organized the return of 40 service volunteers contributing 3500 hours to non-pandemic related placements.