Volunteers are needed to help with programs at a number of health care facilities in Southwestern Manitoba.

Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) has put out the call for people to step forward to meet the need.

“These programs rely on volunteers to make them a success and to benefit the resident,” said volunteer coordinator Marsha Forgue.

“Many volunteers were put on hold because of covid restrictions and we’re just trying to get things going and people back into our care homes to work with our residents.”

Volunteers are needed for the Be A Friend program, to provide musical entertainment, help with recreation outings and gardening programs. The health region is looking for people 15 years of age and older.

“I’ve been working with communities in the southern part of the region. I’ve been in touch with facilities in Boissevain, Deloraine, Killarney, Hartney, Baldur, Glenboro and Cartwright. The Be a Friend program includes visiting or reading with residents.”

Forgue knows people have different schedules and not everyone can commit to the same amount of volunteer time, and she says the RHA is willing to work with people to make it happen. “Some people might still be working, other could be retired or they might be snowbirds so there’s lots of factors to work around once people have applied and been cleared to volunteer,” said Marcha Forgue.

Volunteers working with the residents have to go through a criminal record check and the child and adult abuse registry.