Connecting in the Kootenays!

A memorable trip for Regional Engagement Lead, Emily Jurek

The recent Nelson Seniors Fair, held on October 28, provided me with the opportunity to connect with volunteers, seniors, and community advocates from a variety of backgrounds. While travelling through the interior, I took advantage of several opportunities to discuss the OSA’s survey project with community members.

In Kelowna, I met with a local student leader at UBCO. We explored ways that she and her student organization can support the project. I loved seeing her enthusiasm and interest. Passing through Castlegar, I met with a legacy volunteer from 2016. Over a warm drink, she shared how her experience then directly led her to a new career in seniors care, one which she finds both rewarding and engaging.

The fair itself was an amazing opportunity to share experiences with a variety of wonderful people, as well as to get a taste of the unique culture and flavour of Nelson. I met many dedicated and wonderful people – those who lead care giver support groups, advocate for improvements in local care homes because of a loved one’s experience, support local stroke survivors, and coordinate engaging learning opportunities for seniors. I also got to meet many of the wonderful retirees in this area, who have the accumulated skills of a lifetime combined with a heartfelt readiness to give to their communities.

Sharing with potential volunteers how satisfying my engagements with residents were brought back little interesting stories, friendly faces, and tears from seniors I have interviewed. I found myself both very grateful for the wonderful volunteers I met and vaguely jealous that they are the ones who will conduct the interviews and hear all the fascinating stories of residents.

We are continuing to recruit volunteers across the province to participate as Volunteer Surveyors in this project. If you are interested in volunteering as part of this survey, please apply here.

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