Hospital volunteer reaches 50-year mark

When Guelph General Hospital volunteer, Ruth Thatcher, joined GGH as a volunteer in 1948, little did she know her association with the Hospital would span much of her life. As a part of celebrating “Volunteer Week” Ruth is sharing her story.

 “My first experience was as a Junior Volunteer during my High School days. At that time the Hospital was on the site where 73 Delhi is today. The School of Nursing was next door where the Children's Aid use to be and the building behind was the Isolation Hospital,” explains Ruth. “I went back to Volunteering at the hospital in 1968 and have been volunteering ever since.”

She remembers her first duty coming back as a volunteer was taking the Library Cart around to patients every Tuesday afternoon. “It was a wonderful service because the patient stayed in the Hospital a lot longer than they do today.”

Over the years Ruth has held different roles and responsibilities. Some have had lasting impact. She served on the Foundation board for 11 years and was active in fundraising for the CT and MRI.

Ruth in the Courtyard Boutique web
Ruth Thatcher has 50 years of volunteering at Guelph General Hospital

“I was Convener of the Candy Stripers for a few years in the 70s. I always had a great group of teenagers to train who looked professional in their pink and white aprons and caps. Two of the girls went on to medical school and to this day I still hear about them from their parents.”

Over the years, Ruth, along with her fellow volunteers, has put on art shows, fashion shows and luncheon bridge parties to raise money for the Hospital. It’s been a lifetime of supporting the Hospital and the service it provides to the community. Her five-decade contribution is much appreciated.

“On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Ruth for this incredible milestone,” said Rod Carrol, VP Human Resources and Support Services. “Her dedication over the years is remarkable. She, along with all our volunteers, are truly helping us live our mission of “providing the highest quality care and experience for patients and their families.””

There are many more stories Ruth can share about her years at the Hospital. Anyone can ask to hear them by dropping by the Hospital’s Courtyard Boutique on Thursday afternoons where she still has her weekly shift.

“It was an honour to receive my Life Membership in 1987 and Volunteer of the Year Award in 2014. With good health I will continue to volunteer at the Guelph General Hospital as long as I can.”