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Faces of the QEH – Marshall and Gillian Profitt

“This is our way of giving back to community”

Chances are Marshall and Gillian Profitt are familiar faces to you at the QEH.  They have been volunteering in various areas of the hospital for the last three years, assisting staff and patients, and have been enjoying every minute of it. Each Monday morning in the Ambulatory Care Centre you’ll find Gillian in the Shared Clinics and Marshall in Hemodialysis. They take turns each Saturday volunteering with the QEH Auxiliary, where they serve coffee and conversation at the Royal Pantry. In addition to this, they volunteer with the QEH Foundation as canvassers during the annual Friends for Life campaign.

When asked what their motivation is, Marshall replied, “The QEH is a community and it’s good to give back to community. We’ve been blessed as a family but we’ve used the hospital in the past so this is our way of giving back.”

They agree that the work isn’t difficult but it is rewarding. Marshall explains, “Our jobs aren’t critical, so we have the luxury of being able to take our time and talk to the patients and that can make a big difference in their day.” At the end of a shift Gillian says she always feels good. “It can be an early morning for a retired couple like us, but once you get here to the hospital, it’s completely different. Over time you get to know people and I really do enjoy it.”

Gillian commented that one of the most surprising things she noticed when she began volunteering was the staff appreciation. “I can’t get over it, they thank us every day and tell us they couldn’t get along with us, it’s amazing.” Marshall sums up their volunteer experience by saying, “There’s fulfilment but no stress. And when you find out a patient is on the road to recovery, it’s just fantastic.”