Enid J Bradley

KCR: Volunteering in a pandemic requires adaptability

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Over the past year, all of us have had to adapt as we have navigated a world-wide pandemic.

Whether it was for work, school, shopping, banking or our family life, how we did things had to change and we had to adapt.

Volunteers and non-profit organizations also had to adapt and for many that has been a difficult to do. Volunteers love sharing their skills and knowledge and for many of them, volunteerism is part of their social lives.

Senior volunteers in particular were a vulnerable demographic and so their volunteer wings were clipped very quickly.

Organizations rely on volunteers to help achieve their missions and so when this resource was suddenly not able to come and help, it left a big gap for organizations to try and fill.

For Enid Bradley, a yoga volunteer instructor at the Downtown Y, it was stop-start-stop-start scenario that many of us have experienced.

“It has been an interesting journey this past 12+ months. I started 2020 teaching two yoga classes per week – one beginner/intermediate traditional yoga class and one chair yoga class,” said Enid, explaining that when the Y first reopened, all classes were taught by staff and she wasn’t able to get back to teaching again until October and then only until November when the increased restrictions again meant volunteers were unable to teach.

“I returned to the Downtown Y mid-January 2021 to teach chair yoga, however, the classes were reduced to 5 in-person students and on-line attendance optional for other members,” Enid continued.

“I continue to teach chair yoga and look forward to the time when in-person traditional yoga classes will begin again with volunteer instructors.”

It’s been a difficult year for volunteers and also for the volunteer managers that have been coordinating programs, trying to ensure they look after the health and welfare of their volunteers and also ensure that the organization’s programs and services continue. Volunteer managers by nature like working with people and so not being able to keep their volunteers engaged at a level that they would like to has been hard for them.

Luckily, things appear to be improving with vaccination rates increasing and as we have found ways to continue “business as usual” in new and innovative ways. To support Volunteer managers and help them with engaging with their volunteers,Kelowna Community Resources will host a two-part workshop Re-Engaging Volunteers in 2021 and Beyond on June 22 and June 29.

This free workshop explores the latest trends and tools in recruitment, engagement/retention, social media, and more.

The content is focused on information pertaining to supporting volunteers ages 55+, but will be applicable to volunteers of any age group.

For more information or to register go to www.kcr.ca/volunteer or give Emily a call at 250-763-8008, ext.141.

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources, a multi-service agency offering programs and services to meet community, family and individual needs. KCR is home to the Volunteer Centre of the Central Okanagan. You can contact Dorothee at 250-860-4911 or email dorothee@kcr.ca.

Volunteer

Just Posted

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read