July 14, 2024

“I Always Feel Satisfied At The End Of My Shift”

Consider joining the “kind, exceptional & diverse team” at Northumberland Hills Hospital

Volunteers are an integral part of the Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) team. While volunteers play an active role throughout the organization, supporting fundraising priorities, governance, and continuous quality improvement, the volunteers that many see most frequently as a patient or caregiver are NHH’s Auxiliary volunteers.

“Simply put, NHH wouldn’t be the hospital it is today without the NHH Auxiliary,” said Jennifer Gillard, Vice President, Patient Experience, Public Affairs and Strategic Partnerships. “Identifiable by their burgundy aprons, Auxiliary volunteers are a kind, exceptional and diverse team, and we’re extremely grateful for all they have done and continue to do in almost a century of service. The pandemic required a pause in some key NHH Auxiliary operations. All service areas are now back and running at full capacity. While some programs are fully staffed, opportunities for new recruits exist.”

Community members of all ages, including high school students aged 16 and up, are encouraged to consider volunteering with the NHH Auxiliary.

With minimum time commitments of 4 hours/week, flexibility to accommodate a multitude of schedules (including snowbirds) and a wide variety of opportunities suited to everyone, volunteering with the NHH Auxiliary offers an opportunity to directly give back to your local hospital while developing new friendships, new skills and lifelong connections at the same time.

Auxiliary service areas with immediate opportunities include:

  • Emergency Department
  • NHH Main Entrance (Inquiry Desk)
  • Medical/Surgical and Post-Acute Specialty Services inpatient units
  • The Little Treasure Shop
  • Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)

“I have been volunteering in Palliative Care for 11 years and still love this area,” said Carmel Murphy, NHH Auxiliary Volunteer. “When I first started there, I never thought I would be there for that length of time…. It is a great privilege to chat with patients and their families. The families love the opportunity to chat with the volunteer over a cup of tea or coffee. The volunteer is sometimes the shoulder they need to cry on. There are miscellaneous duties to attend to also, but of course our priority is the patient. Volunteering is very rewarding in any area of the hospital but is very much so in Palliative Care, I always feel satisfied at the end of my shift to have given a few hours of assistance there.”

“The most fulfilling part of volunteering in the ED is the positive effect you can have on patients and their families at a fearful time,” said Grace Rivers, Auxiliary volunteer and Coordinator of Volunteers for the NHH Emergency Department. “As the first person they encounter, you have the opportunity to not only inform, but to reassure them that they are going to be looked after. At NHH a positive patient experience is our goal with every patient, and it starts when they come through the doors.”

“Each shift can be so different. I have always enjoyed the interaction encouraged with patients and staff,” said James Keill, Auxiliary volunteer, Emergency Department team.

About Northumberland Hills Hospital Auxiliary 

The Northumberland Hills Hospital Auxiliary volunteers are dedicated individuals of all ages who work alongside hospital staff supporting the work of virtually every department. Whether delivering water jugs to patients, helping in various service areas throughout the hospital, taking shifts in the Auxiliary’s two retail operations — The Little Treasure Shop, at NHH, and Petticoat Lane, on Munroe Street in Cobourg — or providing a warm welcome at the main entrance, Auxiliary volunteers play a critical role in strengthening the quality of care and experience at NHH.

For information on the Auxiliary, please visit

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the NHH Auxiliary, and find the application forms, please visit the Volunteer tab of our hospital website or reach out to NHH’s Interim Manager, Volunteer Services, Keri Campbell at or extension 4629.



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