Every day, Nova Scotia Health volunteers make someone's day brighter 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 also to 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 approximately two or three hours per week on a regularly scheduled day, for a minimum of four months. The minimum volunteer commitment may be greater than four 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)
Our Administrative Support Roles are integral to many of our department programs. Administrative Support Volunteers lend staff a helping hand with various tasks such as Patient Appointment Reminder Calls, filing, and even Special Project administrative support. If you have had either previous office experience or would like to gain experience in an administrative role in a health care setting, then this role may be for you.
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.
Our Cancer Care volunteers are friendly faces welcoming patients and families as they arrive to the unit for their appointments. They provide support, comfort, assistance, and information to patients and visitors within our Cancer Care Units. Volunteers keep patients and visitors company while waiting for their appointments and during treatment. Our volunteers may offer comfort items to patients and visitors in the waiting area such as refreshments, warm blankets, tissues, and reading materials. As a volunteer you also help with keeping pamphlets/brochures and reading materials up to date. If you have a passion for helping those living with cancer, then this role may be for you.
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.
You cannot serve on a CHB, if you are:
To find a Community Health Board in your area, please check the following link:
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.
Our Volunteer Gardening programs bring a breath of fresh air to our facilities and create beautiful spaces for patients, visitors, residents, and staff to enjoy. This program is suitable for volunteers who can work independently, as well as in a team setting. Gardening programs involve physical work through in caring for garden spaces and are best suited for individuals who are able to easily walk, bend, reach to pick up items, crouch, and dig. The work may also involve being outside on hot days. If you love the outdoors and have a green thumb, then this role is for you.
Our In-Patient Unit Volunteers work in a supportive and interactive team environment to provide support to patients, families and staff members as part of the care team at our facilities. In-Patient volunteers can visit with patients and families, support staff with non-clinical patient care, sit with patients during meals and do a range of tasks from stocking linen carts to filling water jugs. The work can be fast-paced one shift and calmer the next. Our In-Patient volunteer programs allow volunteers to gain hands on experience in a health care setting.
Music heals - and nowhere is this more apparent than in our Music Volunteer programs. The goals of the Music Volunteer programs range from encouraging patients and their families, participating in recreational and leisure activities, and providing calming music interludes amidst what can be a stressful time. In these programs, volunteers with musical experience also have an opportunity to provide musical entertainment and/or sing for patients and their families. If you have a musical talent that you would like to share in a meaningful way, this role may be for you.
The Patient and Family Advisor is a broad role that is fairly generic in concept but provides the patient and family with a voice in making decisions and setting priorities. An advisor is a person who partners with staff by bringing their experience to the decision-making table. Whether it is for a short-term project or an ongoing committee, Patient and Family Advisors play a critical role in the success of the health care system.
The goal of our Recreation programs is to encourage and support residents in long-term care homes and hospital inpatient units to participate in recreation, leisure, and communication-based experiences. Activities could include creative expression, music, relaxation, exercises, games, or conversations. Throughout each shift, volunteers are actively engaged with patients and provide companionship and socialization. In addition, they help with setting up and cleaning up, before and after the activities. These programs give the participants the opportunity to engage in regular mental and physical activities, and to notice the benefits that such activities have on one's health. If you have a passion for healing through Recreation actives, then this may be of interest to you.
Volunteer Transportation programs and services are critical in meeting the mobility needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers when accessibility to transportation options are limited. Barriers to transportation can result in a loss of independence and increased isolation. Our Transportation Volunteers ensure that our clients and patients maintain their independence and quality of life. If providing independence to seniors and patients with disabilities is of interest to you, then this role may be for you.
Our Veterans volunteer programs provide support to those who have tirelessly served our country at home and abroad. The Veterans volunteer roles can range from providing one-to-one social interaction with a resident within our Veteran’s unit, to supporting recreational activities such as baking, games or setting up rooms for special performers. If you are interested in giving back to those who have given so much to us, then one of these roles may be for you.
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.
All Nova Scotia Health team members, patients, families and visitors are required to:
• Respect • Integrity • Courage • Innovation • Accountability