AGM Awards

Volunteer Victoria welcomed over 80 guests (funders, supporters, member agencies, Coordinators of Volunteers, etc) to celebrate our35th Annual General Meeting on June 24th. The agenda consisted of a delicious breakfast, guest speakers, agency awards and ended with a brief meeting. The theme for the day was Embracing the Future – Leading for Change.      

Sandra Richardson (Victoria Foundation) presented Val Green (Volunteer Victoria) with a plaque recognizing our accomplishments over the past 35 years and thanking Volunteer Victoria for ‘giving heart to our community for 35 years’.      

Each year our Youth Program Coordinator and Access Program Coordinator present Agency Awards to dedicated leaders working with our member agencies. These leaders are chosen for their continuous demonstration of excellence in communication, leadership and accommodation through excellence in volunteer management.      

The following are this year’s outstanding awardees:

Brian Del Raye – Recreation Therapist, Selkirk Place (presented by Lornna Olson, Access Program Coordinator)

It is Brian’s job as the Recreation Therapist to find volunteers to help with the many programs available for the seniors that reside at Selkirk Place. Already working with a high needs population, Brian is open to accommodating volunteers that may require some extra guidance. He is always timely to respond to inquires about volunteering, and always willing to give a tour of the facilities to potential volunteers. Volunteers from our Youth ProgramAccess Program and Employer Supported Volunteer Program have all been welcomed and supported under Brian’s direction. Brian works with a pool of approximately 25 volunteers and 8 recreational therapy staff to service the 250 seniors living at Selkirk Place. 

Lornna presents Certificate of Excellence to Brian.
Recently Brian was willing to take a second look at a potential volunteer from the Access program who was dealing with a misunderstood circumstance that was making it difficult for her to be placed as a volunteer.  Because of Brian’s understanding this volunteer has had the opportunity to prove herself and this connection has been a very important part of her recovery. 

Catriona Campbell – Coordinator of Volunteers, James Bay Community Project (presented by Lornna Olson, Access Program Coordinator)       

This is the second time Catriona has been honored with this award in the 15 years that she has been connected with James Bay Community Project (3 years on the board prior to 12 years as Coordinator of Volunteers). This community health care centre serves approximately 350 people a day. Catriona organises 250 volunteers, 50 of them being  community living volunteers. Last year her volunteers worked a total of 18,800 volunteer hours.    We can count on Catriona’s openness and acceptance of all types of volunteers. She is always very clear about her volunteer needs and always willing to give an interview.   If the position in question has already been filled, or if she feels that the fit might not work, Catriona is able to think outside the box to tailor a potential position that might fit more within the volunteer’s abilities.    

Recently a client of Volunteer Victoria’s Access Program expressed interest in a pruning position at the project, but due to anxiety didn’t think that he wanted to be around crowds. Catriona suggested that this client come to prune the trees when the project was closed –to avoid having to be around people. Eventually the volunteer felt welcome enough that he could be comfortable inside the building and eventually expressed interest in volunteering directly with members of the project.       

Gillian Rowan – Recreation Services Team Leader, Burnside Gorge Community Association (presented by Tara MacDonald, Youth Program Coordinator)

Gillian has been working at Burnside Gorge Community Association, as the Team Leader in Recreation Services for the past 2 years. She runs about 30 recreation activities and also coordinates the numerous special events hosted by BGCA. Last year, Gillian organized 5 special events and managed over 700 volunteers. Gillian demonstrates excellence in leadership, communication and accommodation as she welcomes volunteers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.  She encourages youth to get involved and she genuinely appreciates the energy and positive attitude they bring to the events. She also encourages families, people with special needs and new Canadians to come and get involved in their community through volunteering. Gillian recognizes the great value a diverse pool of volunteers can add to an event.

  Tara presents Certificate of Excellence award to Gillian  

Gillian also recruits non-event volunteers to support her work at the centre. When she needs help with something, and may not have the expertise or the time to do it, she will create a volunteer posting seeking help.  For example, when Gillian needed to create promotional materials, she recruited a graphic designer. When she needs office support, she recruits an administration volunteer and when she required help with her website, she recruited a webmaster who works for a local tech company and is delighted to offer her skills in a volunteer capacity.Volunteers who work with Gillian are welcomed with a warm smile and enjoy a meaningful and positive volunteer experience. 

To all our supporters, funders, Coordinators of Volunteers and members, past and present, the staff at Volunteer Victoria thank you for your support over the past 35 years.

Val Green, Lornna Olson, Tara MacDonald, Beth Cougler-Blom, Liz Belsten, Lori Elder, Bonnie Van Volkenburg. Missing: Louise Keith

(Photos by Snap Victoria)

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