Edmonton Police Service logo

Commitment to Professionalism - Reduced Crime & Victimization - Investigative Excellence - Increased Efficiency & Effectiveness
Copyright © 2024, Edmonton Police Service. All rights reserved.

Edmonton Police Service

Dedicated to Protect, Proud to Serve

EPS Volunteer Receives Sovereign’s Medal


EPS volunteer Jean Henderson has been recognized nationally for her exceptional volunteer contributions within the community.

Jean recently received the Governor General of Canada Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which is the highest honour for volunteer service that an individual can receive in Canada.

“The work you do is amazing, not just for us at EPS but for all the other places that you volunteer, and we greatly appreciate that,” said EPS Superintendent Christa Pennie, who presented the medal on behalf of her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada.

“I also appreciate the support that you provide for victims of crime, as we rely on our volunteers to help keep victims engaged, and they survive because of the help of people like yourself.”


EPS volunteer Jean Henderson is joined by fellow members of the CTSS team who came to congratulate her on the special honour. 

 Jean has volunteered in Edmonton and the surrounding area for over 45 years and started volunteering with the EPS Crime and Trauma-Informed Support Services (CTSS) in 2012.

Her kindness, calm demeanour, and life experience are all assets in her role with CTSS, where she provides emotional and practical support to victims of crime and tragedy, and often attends court with victims to guide them through the process.

"When we have members that call us for the worst of the worst tragedies, Jean always puts her hand up and is ready to go out with us to provide support, not only to the families but also to our team as well," said Jennalea Dermott, the CTSS Volunteer Coordinator.

The long-time volunteer has also dedicated her time to helping with numerous other causes and major civic and sporting events over the years.  She has volunteered at her church, K-Days, Habitat for Humanity, the Oilers Charity Golf Tournament, the Canadian Finals and Rainmaker Rodeos, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Edmonton Indy, Canadian Derby, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and the list goes on and on.      

When Jean’s young son died in 1978, she started rallying to get a children’s hospital in Edmonton and was instrumental in starting up the first Northern Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation fundraising telethons that paved the way for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.


The retired seamstress burned through three sewing machines making homemade face masks to raise money for the Alberta SPCA.

 During the Covid pandemic in 2020, Jean started sewing cloth face masks to help protect her daughter from infection as she was recovering from cancer.  When she heard that the Alberta SPCA was donating food to pet owners struggling during the pandemic, she saw an opportunity to help by selling her masks and donating the proceeds to the worthwhile cause. 

Once word got out about her plan, orders started pouring in as did donations of fabric, and she sewed over 6,300 masks and raised over $20,000 to help feed animals in need.

While worthy of praise for all her efforts to give back to the community, Jean was quite surprised to learn that the Alberta SPCA had nominated her for the award.

“People like Jean don’t expect to be recognized, she didn’t do it for the recognition,” said Leanne Niblock, Executive Director with the Alberta SPCA.  “She’s one of those superhumans that thinks of everyone in her community first, be they an animal or a person, and they want to give so much to their communities.”


Jean Henderson was presented her medal by Superintendent Christa Pennie and Executive Director Leanne Niblock with the Alberta SPCA.

Jean was presented with the Sovereign’s Medal at a special ceremony surrounded by friends and family and EPS colleagues on March 27, 2024.  When asked why she volunteered, she was quite humble about her accomplishments, and did not think she was doing anything out of the ordinary.   

Jean smiled, “I feel like I’m helping, it’s the people you meet along the way, it’s been a wonderful experience.  If you’re in it for the accolades, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.  The years and years that you put into volunteering, it’s because you love it.  And I love it!”

Congratulations Jean on this well-deserved honour and thank you for your many years of dedication and heartfelt contributions to EPS and our city.