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Nova Scotia Volunteers Receive VON Canada Awards


Nova Scotia Volunteers Receive VON Canada Awards
Residents of Lunenburg, Amherst and Halifax among four recipients of national awards

(HALIFAX, NS) October 1, 2020 – The Victorian Order of Nurses (‘VON’) Canada presented awards to three dedicated Nova Scotia volunteers for their exemplary contributions to VON’s work in home and community care and for enabling people to live every day to the fullest. The COVID-19 pandemic brought special meaning to this year’s awards, as VON staff and volunteers worked harder than ever to protect the health and safety of staff, clients and greater communities.

Following VON’s virtual Annual General Meeting on September 25, VON Canada held a virtual recognition ceremony and presented national awards to four individuals, three of whom are Nova Scotians. This years’ recipients are shining examples of VON’s values and their work was recognized for having an immeasurable impact in our community.

Joy Saunders of Lunenburg is the 2020 recipient of the Lady Ishbel Aberdeen Award, which is bestowed upon a VON staff member or volunteer who has rendered service of great distinction or of singular excellence at all levels of our organization. At 101-years-old, Joy decided to dedicate her daily walks in her neighbourhood to raise awareness and funds for VON. Her goal was to walk 102 times before her 102nd birthday on October 31st. Through her efforts, not only did Joy complete her 102nd walk six weeks ahead of schedule, she also managed to raise over $75,000 and counting for VON, while raising the spirits of many during her campaign.

Robert Estabrooks of Amherst is the 2020 recipient of the Lifetime Associate Award, which is presented to a volunteer who has given exceptional service to VON over a sustained period of time. Robert has a rich history with VON in the county of Cumberland, having been a volunteer with the Community Corporation board for 22 years, including two terms as its Chair. Through his leadership and personal commitment and contributions to VON, Robert made it possible for VON’s Community Support Services in the Cumberland region to expand, including the Adult Day Program and respite care for families.

Carlton Sanford of Halifax is the 2020 recipient of the Award of Distinction for Nova Scotia. Carlton’s volunteering with VON dates back to the year 2000, when he helped to co-create VON Greater Halifax’s transportation program and has played a key role in its growth and evolution since. His involvement in this program continued during the pandemic, as he remained an active volunteer driver, embracing safety protocols thoughtfully so those who rely on the program can continue accessing it. Over its lifetime, the Halifax transportation program has served more than 4,000 clients needing to get to necessary appointments and medical errands and it has served as a benchmark to which other VON transportation programs were modeled by in Nova Scotia.

Also presented that evening was the Award of Distinction for Ontario to Nan Cleator, Practice Consultant, for her exceptional work in supporting excellence at VON for 30 years and for shaping and informing VON’s approach to its COVID-19 response.

In addition to the four annual awards, VON added a fifth award category for 2020: The COVID-19 Excellence Awards, which recognized many VON teams for the impact of their hard work and actions during the extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About VON Canada: VON Canada has been pioneering care at home for over 120 years. Today, we are a highly trusted non-profit organization that works with our clients, employees, volunteers and partners to provide innovative clinical, personal and social support to people who want the comfort and peace of mind of living in their own homes and communities. VON is accredited with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada.

About VON Community Corporations: VON Community Corporations are local charitable corporations made up of volunteer leaders who support VON Canada’s mission in their own communities. In partnership with VON Canada staff, they help build relationships with other local leaders and community groups, agencies and others to strengthen VON’s work. They raise funds to support VON clients, programs and initiatives, and advocate on behalf of VON in their communities. And they work with each other, and with VON’s national leadership, to support VON wherever we provide care.


VON Media Contacts:

Emily Mallard
Marketing, Communications and Philanthropy Officer
VON Canada – Nova Scotia

Rosie Michel
Manager, Marketing and Communications
VON Canada – Ontario

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Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that consults with experts to develop health care standards based on best practices. They accredit a wide range of health care and social services providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, clinics, and community health programs. Accreditation Canada has been helping providers improve health care quality and safety for more than 55 years.