Volunteer Spotlight- Carolyn Widdowson

Carolyn Widdowson made her way to Guelph from Brighton, Ontario to be closer to her mother. Seventeen years later, she continues to love living in Guelph and helping our community. With many volunteer commitments, Carolyn says since retirement she is busier than ever!

For 25 years, Carolyn taught Junior and Senior Kindergarten and Grade One classes at Spring Valley Public School in Brighton. It was her absolute passion.

In 2015, Carolyn had a knee replacement surgery at GGH that lead her to take up water aerobics to help with her recovery. In the class, she met a GGH volunteer who asked if she would ever consider volunteering at the hospital. Carolyn started her hospital volunteerism in the GGH gift shop, The Courtyard Boutique.

“I was in the gift shop five years ago when the Foundation staff asked me if I could lend a hand during the busy lead-up time to the annual Black Tie Bingo gala. I said ‘yes’ and I’ve volunteered for them too ever since,” Carolyn remarks. In addition to helping with the gala, Carolyn also volunteers year-round with numerous on-going tasks related to many Foundation fundraising programs.

Before the COVID-19 lockdown, Carolyn would make time to volunteer at the Foundation, hand addressing envelopes, stuffing envelopes with thank you letters and tax receipts, labelling items, and much more to support the work of the Foundation team. What a difference she makes!

When asked why she volunteers, Carolyn says, “The hospital has helped my family. I’ve had surgery, my mum and dad had surgery, I’ve visited friends here— everybody has a connection with the hospital.”

Carolyn emphasizes the importance of volunteering. “If you can— volunteer! I feel it is vital to give back.” Carolyn, you are very much appreciated! Thank you for your volunteer work for our hospital and the Foundation. We miss you and all our other volunteers and can’t wait to have you back in the office.