A veteran volunteer at a local hospice is bringing a little joy to patients with a weekly tea party and is our Inspiring Albertan this week.

Tea time at Carewest’s Sarcee Hospice is an opportunity for patients and their families to take a break from their normal routine.

Ann Vallentin came up with the idea and has come to hospice ever Wednesday for 17 years to share stories and serve tea.

“You know a friend of mine was sick and in hospice and I went to visit her and I don't know, I just wanted to be, you know, helpful,” said Vallentin.

She prepares and serves the tea and adds a special touch by using fine china and real silverware.

Her friend Isabelle Anne Klaiber brings dessert and says she loves working with Vallentin.

“It's been 11 years and I really enjoy it when Ann is here because she just, her glorious sense of humour and her compassion which is a wonderful combination,” said Klaiber.

Janie Delorme first met Vallentin the day she came to Sarcee Hospice with a friend who was transferred there from the Foothills Hospital.

Delorme says Vallentin offered her friend tea and a piece of pie, but it was more than that.

“Just made him feel comfortable and like a human being instead of a patient. And it just meant so much to him because it eased his mind about the fact thatl, you know, he may be suffering from cancer but he's not actually just a patient,” she said.

Vallentin says people of all ages come to the hospice as patients and all appreciate the weekly tea party.

“There was a young guy who was so grateful to have the tea party because it just made him feel so ordinary and it took his mind off his condition, his state, his time. You know we talked about all kinds of other things and he said too he felt normal again.”

For all she does to brighten the days of patients at Carewest Sarcee Hospice, Ann Vallentin is our Inspiring Albertan this week.

(With files from Darrel Janz)