Eastern Zone - Guysborough, Antigonish, Strait Richmond

Every day Nova Scotia Health volunteers make someone's day brighter. Our volunteers support patients, clients and residents in communities across Nova Scotia.

Who are our volunteers?

Nova Scotia Health volunteers are individuals looking for a rewarding opportunity to share not only their time but provide meaningful support to patients, clients, residents, their families and our frontline staff through a variety of roles. Volunteers are a vital link in the important work of Nova Scotia Health.

Why volunteer with us?

Volunteers complement the care provided by professional staff. As a volunteer, you can gain personal satisfaction from helping others, obtain experience relevant to your future employment or educational plans, meet new people and learn more about the health care system.

How much time do I need to commit?

As a general rule, we ask volunteers to commit to two to three hours per week on a regular day for a minimum of four months.  The minimum volunteer commitment may be greater than 4 months depending on the site and the volunteer position of interest to you.


Get to know our volunteers!

Keltie & Maiya (Therapy Dog Team)


Brenda Mackenzie (Patient and Family Advisor)

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Available Opportunities


Our Ambassador volunteers are friendly hosts to patients, families and visitors as they enter Nova Scotia Health facilities. The Ambassador Volunteers help relieve stress for patients and visitors who enter our facilities by providing directions and information about our facilities during their visit. This is a fast-paced program with varying demands requiring volunteers to be on their feet and to walk throughout the buildings. If you love meeting new people and working in a busy environment, then these roles are for you. Some of the responsibilities include:

  • Welcoming patients, visitors, and staff into the building.
  • Helping with finding locations throughout designated buildings at the hospital.
  • Accompanying people to the appropriate floor, clinic, or room and provide friendly support along the way.
  • Assisting visitors in contacting the appropriate department and/or staff person.
  • When required, providing wheelchair to accompany the person to floor, clinic, or room.
  • Providing information to patients and visitors.


Community Health Boards (CHBs)

Community Health Boards (CHBs) are groups of volunteers from local communities, who work together to improve health and wellness of their communities. They gather ideas from local community members and share information about how to improve and promote health and wellness close to home. They focus on the many factors that affect health and wellness in our communities including income, education, and sense of belonging, among others. CHBs share what they have learned about your health and wellness priorities with Nova Scotia Health, IWK Health Centre, and other pertinent community groups.

CHBs advocate for actions to promote and improve health and wellness based on what communities say is most important. Guided by their Community Health Plans, they develop partnerships with local community groups and they award Wellness Fund grants to local community projects.

You cannot serve on a CHB, if you are:

  • An employee of the provincial health authority, the IWK Health Centre or the Department of Health and Wellness
  • A person who holds privileges with the provincial health authority or the IWK Health Centre

To find a Community Health Board in your area, please check the following link: 

CHB Maps

Mental Health and Addictions

Mental Health and Addictions volunteer programs give care and support to people living with mental health disorders and substance/gambling addictions. Our programs include health promotion and prevention, along with general and specialized treatment. Our Mental Health programs include outpatient/community-based programs, home/school-based interventions and inpatient services. Mental Health and Addictions volunteers assist staff with activities for patients to engage in a group or individual setting. They can also support patients on a one-to-one basis, providing mentorship and social interaction. As a Mental Health volunteer, you have an opportunity to positively impact people experiencing mental illness and/or addiction. Some of the responsibilities include: 

  • Assisting with recreational activities in the unit
  • Assisting with set up and clean up
  • Encouraging and assisting patients to participate in activities
  • Providing companionship and socialization in the unit
  • Playing cards and/or board games with patients
  • Actively engaging with patients

Palliative Care Support

Palliative Care is a special kind of health care for individuals and families who are living with a terminal illness that may be at an advanced stage. The goal of palliative care is to provide comfort and dignity for the person living with advanced illness, as well as the best quality of life for both this person and his or her family. Our Palliative Care volunteers enhance the quality of life for patients and their families and work as members of a multi-disciplinary team. They contribute actively to the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual welfare of our patients and families. If you are interested in a role where you can contribute in a meaningful way for someone who is in the end-of-life stage, then this may be for you. Some of the responsibilities include:

  • Listening to or conversing with patient or family; sometimes just being with the patient in silence
  • Reading to the patient, write letters, singing for or with the patient, listen to music etc.
  • Assisting staff with special requests i.e. organizing special events, such as a birthday or anniversary
  • Relieving caregivers when practical and possible
  • Providing on-going support to the family
  • Reporting to staff information that might contribute to the quality of patient/family care and/or life

Therapy Dog Programs

Our Therapy Dog volunteers bring comfort, joy and a sense of companionship through pet visitation to patients and residents in our facilities. All Therapy Dog volunteer teams are required to be certified through the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Training Program. As a Therapy Dog volunteer, you can provide a wonderful break in what can be a stressful time for both patients and staff alike. If you and your dog are a certified St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog team, then this role is for you. Some of the responsibilities include:

  • Providing pet visitation and companionship to identified patients.
  • Assuming responsibility for supervision of dog and any ‘clean up’ required.
  • Ensuring that dogs are maintained on a leash at all times while on the hospital property.

Our Values

Nova Scotia Health is committed to providing a safe, healthy, and respectful environment for team members (employees, physicians, learners and volunteers), patients, families, and visitors that reflects our Vision, Mission and Values.

Respectful Conduct

All Nova Scotia Health team members, patients, families and visitors are required to:

  • Treat each other with dignity, fairness, and respect.
  • Respect diversity, which includes both visible and invisible characteristics and includes differences such as, but not limited to, age, life stage, ability, culture, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, geographical location, language, physical characteristics, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, spirituality, and values.
  • Communicate in a respectful manner.
  • Interact without any abuse, harassment, discrimination, aggression or violence.
  • Report any inappropriate or unprofessional behaviour or conduct.

Our Values:

• Respect • Integrity • Courage • Innovation • Accountability