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In 2017, Scotty Carleton experienced a medical emergency that required his admission to Belleville General Hospital (BGH). Scotty felt he was treated with loving care and he gained a great appreciation for the hospital staff. Following his hospital stay, Scotty expressed to his Employment/Volunteer Facilitator at Pathways to Independence that he would like to volunteer at BGH.

“I wanted to volunteer because I want to help people,” said Scotty.

Pathways to Independence provides assisted community living services and supports to adults with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

After meeting with Quinte Health Volunteer Coordinator, Jay Moxness, and Manager of Nutrition and Food Services, Marilyn Francis, Scotty’s dream came to life in June 2023 when he started volunteering in the dish room at Belleville General Hospital two mornings each week. Here, he helps with washing dishes and garbage duty when patients are done with their meals.

“In his volunteer role, Scotty is greeted with the same kindness and inclusion that he received in 2017 as a patient,” said Charmaine McLean, Scotty’s Employment/Volunteer Facilitator at Pathways to Independence. “The staff in the dish room have welcomed Scotty with grace and openness, and he has been able to increase his level of task responsibility through their support and guidance.”

“Scotty is a breath of fresh air. He is so eager to be a part of the team and constantly has a smile on his face,” said Marilyn. “The Nutrition and Food Services team is so proud to be a part of Scotty’s growth and experience. I believe partnerships such as this provide hope, purpose and belonging, and bring communities together.”

“Scotty, like many others supported by Pathways to Independence, has many skills and talents that benefit his community,” said Charmaine. “This is one shining example of inclusion, where everyone gains a deeper sense of belonging, and opportunity for growth is readily available and encouraged to all people.”