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Campbell River volunteers step up for Island kids

‘Home way from home’ for families an essential lifeline
Andrew Fraser and his fellow technologists from the BC Hydro team in Campbell River recently spent a day volunteering at Q̓ʷalayu House, the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island’s home away from home for families whose children are undergoing medical treatment.

When Andrew Fraser’s son was born last summer, complications meant he needed to be delivered at Victoria General Hospital, rather than at home in Campbell River.

While he was cared for in the NICU for several weeks following the birth, Andrew, his wife and their young daughter were fortunate to find a home away from home at the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island’s Jeneece Place.

“I can’t remember if it was our midwife or one of the doctors, but someone put in a referral for us for Jeneece Place,” recalls Andrew, a technologist with BC Hydro in Campbell River.

Their son is now healthy and thriving, and they remain grateful for the Foundation’s support.

“It was such an amazing opportunity for us because we were able to stay on hospital grounds. Our son was in the NICU for three weeks so we were able to see him whenever we wanted,” he says.

“They really did everything they could to make us comfortable. Anything that you needed, they were able to provide,” Andrew says, noting the additional value of connecting with other families also navigating challenging times. “The staff, the clients, volunteers – they made a really difficult experience so much more tolerable.”

The Frasers are grateful to have been able to stay at Jeneece Place when their newborn son needed to be in the NICU at Victoria General Hospital for several weeks. Back home in Campbell River, they committed to paying it forward and supporting the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

Supporting North Island families in Campbell River

Once back home, the grateful family committed to paying it forward and Andrew was thrilled to learn about Q̓ʷalayu House, the Foundation’s home away from home right here in Campbell River.

The timing was right all around as BC Hydro had recently launched a pilot program that allows staff to volunteer during work hours. Andrew’s story inspired his co-workers at BC Hydro, who joined him at Q̓ʷalayu House to help with maintenance, yard work and making a meaningful difference for Island kids.

“Jeneece Place and Qʷalayu House are absolutely necessary. I don’t know how you define it other than a home away from home for families that have kids in the hospital,” Andrew says, encouraging donors, volunteers and others to learn more about the Foundation’s vital supports and programs.

“It’s such a stressful time in people’s lives when a child is in hospital, and you can really alleviate a lot of that stress by having a facility like Jeneece Place or QH.

“When families are in really desperate times, it’s such an amazing support.”

To learn more about the Foundation’s work to support Vancouver Island children and their families, visit