Who doesn’t love flowers? Appreciating our volunteers

e-link is an online, weekly newsletter for Regina and area employees, physicians and volunteers of the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Who doesn’t love flowers? Appreciating our volunteers

Volunteers are the backbone of the LiveWell programs in RQHR. They co-lead the programs and are supported by a health professional.  They are teachers, mentors and friends to the participants. They are dedicated and compassionate and have helped us provide excellent skills to our clients so they can manage their chronic conditions.

LIveWell program volunteers were celebrated at Regina's Floral Conservatory as a way to thank them for their service.

Our Volunteer peer leaders also usually have a chronic disease themselves so it also makes them easy to relate to. To celebrate all that our volunteers do, a recognition tea was held at the Regina Floral Conservatory in March. Although the day was stormy, the atmosphere and the mood inside the Conservatory was bright and cheerful. Unfortunately, the weather kept some of our rural volunteers away, but we celebrated enough for all of them!

Peer Leaders take a four-day training session. The programs and the training are developed by Stanford University and are the same worldwide. Research shows that when given appropriate training and support, peers can facilitate the Chronic Disease Self-Management program as effectively, if not more effectively, than health care professionals. People do better when taught by people like themselves. They see others self-manage, which increases their belief in their own ability.  Modeling happens throughout the program from the Peer leaders and also from other participants in the workshop through sharing and problem-solving activities.

 

What they had to say

The stormy weather kept many out-of-town volunteers away from the festivities, though those who made it were able to enjoy a beautiful afternoon.

Our volunteers also take away a number of important things from the workshops. Below are a few things they had to say:

“For me, the pleasure of seeing people take hold of their lives in spite of issues has been such a great experience.”

“People in the workshop inspire me to continue to take care of my own health. I think I get more out of this experience than they do. ”

“The first time a participant learns there is hope and that there are things they can do to help their situation…it is so powerful. I feel blessed to be a part of their journey. It reminds me that we are all human and a community.”

“We just meet people where they are at and work from there.”

LiveWell with Chronic Conditions and LiveWell with Chronic Pain workshops, FREE community-based programs are offered by the Health Promotion Department to those dealing with a chronic condition/pain and their support person(s). Both workshops are over six weeks, where a group meets once a week for 2 ½ hours. For more information on the LiveWell programs and our upcoming Peer Leader Training, visit our website atwww.rqhealth.ca/LiveWell

 
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