CONTACT Community Assistance Society members Jan Watson (left) and Carol Hanson are looking for more volunteers as they manage Sooke’s growing senior population. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sooke group providing assistance to seniors in dire need of volunteers

Loan Cupboard now in its 50th year of operation

You don’t need crutches until you hurt your leg – but when you do, that’s when Jan Watson jumps into action.

With the ease of a phone call, the Sooke woman will arrange for someone to drop off a set of crutches at your doorstep.

While most drug stores or pharmacies can charge up to $30 for a month, the CONTACT Community Assistance Association happily hands over the crutches for $5 for two months. It’s part of what it calls the “Loan Cupboard.”

One of its most popular items to loan is a knee scooter, which can run into the hundreds of dollars to rent. For $10, Sooke residents can rent the association’s only unit for two months.

If your leg worsens and you need to get a medical appointment, Watson will drive Sooke residents into the West Shore or downtown Victoria. After 50 years of operation, the service now extends from Jordan River to Sooke.

“Retirees are always surprised that we have this service available,” said Carol Hanson, a volunteer with the society.

“Once you start, it seems like you don’t stop. The hardest part of volunteering is learning when to say no.”

Hanson joined the group in 2017 after spending a handful of retired years. As a former frontline care worker, she said it wasn’t only an opportunity to make friends in Sooke, but she’s been able to give back to the community with her days.

Now, she’s asking for a few more volunteers to give a couple hours of theirs.

The duo says they are searching for people who have cars and are willing to drive residents to and from medical appointments. Drivers will have to have vehicles that can fit walkers and wheelchairs and complete a criminal record check.

Watson pointed out that drivers will be compensated for gas.

There isn’t any certain amount of time that volunteers must be able to commit to as there are no set schedules. But with only four volunteers running the Loan Cupboard section of the society, Watson says the need is imminent.

Those interested in becoming a part of the volunteer team can call 250-389-4607 or email

READ MORE: Sooke Meals on Wheels seeks volunteers to replace critical roles


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