Written by Suzannah Meir (2019 QDHPCA Executive Secretary & Volunteer Coordinator)
Hi, my name is Suzannah Meir. Originally from Chilliwack, I went to univeristy for Agriculture and Business before working as Assistant Manager of my father's dairy farm and starting a family. When the farm was sold three years ago, my family and I decided move to the Quesnel area and start our own farm. We now have chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, cows and horses.
In the past few years, I have been doing retail inspections and audits. I am a writer and have published 3 children's books with my children who also help write and illustrate.
My hobbies are gardening, freezing, canning, picking wild berries and herbs all summer and fall, knitting, crocheting, needle points, making herbal remedies, ointments and soaps, writing, reading, renovating, landscaping and equestrian activities.
My greatest joy is spending time with my wonderful children and my animals on our farm, especially my beautiful horses. I spent my youth competing in dressage and show jumping and am just getting back into riding now.
I have been a 4-H Leader for about 10 years. I ran the 4-H club in Chilliwack and now run a club in Quesnel. I have been volunteering since August 2018, so am relatively new at this.
As the Volunteer Coordinator, my job is to match up volunteers with suitable clients so that the relationship between them is satisfying for both parties. Our volunteers spend time with community clients, and at GRB Hospital, Dunrovin Lodge, Maeford Place, and the Quesnel community.
Volunteers can be called to sit at someone's bedside as they near the end of their life so their families can take a much needed break. Volunteers can read to clients or play games with them, talk to them, or simply just sit quiet and 'be there' with them so they are not alone.
At Quesnel Hospice and GRB Hospital, volunteers are scheduled from 10:30 to about 12:30, so that they can help with lunch time. Our volunteers are not allowed to feed clients though. One of our volunteers even bakes cookies at Hospice, so there are a variety of things a volunteer could do.
Regularly meetings with volunteers are arranged to explore things that work well and things that might not work so well and find solutions. I also keep track of how volunteer hours are spent, where and how.
I have many plans and goals for this position. One is to get more volunteers. As a volunteer myself, I have heard the common complaint among clients that they are bored and that they have nothing to look forward to. This is something that I feel very passionately about addressing.
As a 4-H Leader, I have visited Dunrovin Lodge with a few of my club members and their goats. The residents really enjoy visiting both the children and the animals. I feel it is important to instill in our youth a respect for the wisdom and life experience of the elderly. Bringing the two ages together more is a goal I have set for myself.
I welcome any ideas anyone has that volunteers might be able to bring to the visits.
There are also annual events, such as the 'Celebrate A Life' Christmas event and the 'Hike for Hospice' volunteers can participate in. Check out our Event Volunteer Page.
To become a volunteer, check out our Palliative Care Volunteer Page.
If anyone wishes to become a volunteer for QDHPCA I can be reached at my office at 250-985-5816 or Suzannah.Meir@northernhealth.ca.