Meet Julie, our Regional Training Coordinator on the Island

My name is Julie and I am a Regional Training Coordinator based on Vancouver Island.  For the last several years, I have been working as a consultant in the not-for-profit sector and my contracts have encompassed everything from workshop development and facilitation, to project management, to program monitoring and evaluation.  The Office of the Seniors Advocate Residential Care Survey is one of the most ground-breaking and innovative projects that I have been involved with.  A long-term care survey of this scope has never been attempted anywhere else in Canada!  I also feel a personal connection to this project because of my experiences with family members in long term care.

My favorite thing about being a trainer is meeting all the amazing individuals that commit their time and energy to conduct the interviews.  Our volunteers come from all different backgrounds, with varying reasons for signing up, but at the core, they all want to be a voice for our seniors living in care.  That is truly inspiring.  It is the individuals that make every training session unique!

If I have any advice for volunteers, it is to take the time and appreciate this opportunity to connect with the people you interview. It is immensely rewarding! And remember, there is a network of support around you if you face challenges, so don’t be afraid to reach out. 

I will leave you with a poem that one of our remarkable volunteers from Courtenay brought in to a training session:

Blessed In Aging

-Esther Mary Walker

Blessed are they who understand

My faltering step and shaking hand

Blessed, who know my ears today

Must strain to hear the things they say.

Blessed are those who seem to know

My eyes are dim and my mind is slow

Blessed are those who look away

When I spilled tea that weary day.

Blessed are they who, with a cheery smile Stopped to chat for a little while Blessed are they who know the way To bring back memories of yesterday.

Blessed are those who never say

“You’ve told that story twice today”

Blessed are they who make it known

That I am loved, respected and not alone.

And blessed are they who will ease the days Of my journey home, in loving ways.

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