The Sooke Region Volunteer Centre

Volunteer Centre finds a home

Centre for Sooke region volunteers now has an office space

Since 2010 a group of dedicated volunteers have been working to develop a volunteer centre for the Sooke Region, and they’ve done it! The Sooke Region Volunteer Centre (SRVC) has opened its doors at the Sooke Child, Youth & Family Centre at 2145 Townsend Road, Sooke.

“We are really excited about this arrangement,” said SRVC chair, Marlene Barry. “Our research has confirmed that we are missing a major sector of the population without a physical location.  Many seniors do not use, or have limited use of computers.  An affordable, part time arrangement is a perfect place to start.”

Times certainly have changed and volunteering is changing along with it.  The days when people signed up for a 20 year stint with one organization are disappearing. Economics and the Baby Boomer generation factor into these changes along with organized sports, volunteering to earn credits or beef-up your resume.  In addition, the Sooke region now hosts over 200 non-profit clubs, organizations and charities.  Volunteers are their life blood by way of board of directors or steering committees, not to mention all the other aspects of ‘doing what they do’. Mind you, some of these are social clubs like bridge or quilting clubs where most of the work is in the play.  Whether they are setting up the tables or making the tea and cookies their members are still volunteers.

While it is yet to be determined whether we fit the claimed title of a Volunteer Capital in Canada, the Sooke region is certainly in the running!  According to Elida Peers, our prized local historian, prior to World War II there were five non-profit groups in the region.  These consisted of: Sooke Community Association (1935), Sooke Athletic Association (1913/14), Sooke Farmers Institute (1909), Sooke & North Sooke Women’s Institute (1909), and the Shirley Community Association. We’ve grown and so has our capacity to give.

The mission of SRVC is ‘to promote and support volunteerism in the Sooke Region’ and their vision is ‘a community where everyone volunteers’. Volunteering is more than people ‘helping out’, it is an expression of citizenship. Volunteering comes in many forms from making a casserole for a sick neighbour (informal volunteering) to more formal social engagement such as taking the lead in major projects, and everything in between.  2011 statistics show 13.3 million Canadian volunteers give on average of 156 hours/year.  7 per cent of the volunteer population give 78 per cent of volunteer hours.

According to Volunteer Canada, the top four things people are looking for when volunteering: are to utilize their skills; receive effective feedback on those skills; opportunities that provide clear roles and expectations; and training opportunities.

According to Barry, opening a ‘store-front’ for the centre has been a long process and has not been taken lightly by the committee.  Research done in 2006, 2009 and 2010 by the Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI) and SRVC each identified a need for a centre to support volunteers and non-profit organizations alike.  Better use of scarce resources, local training opportunities, and collaborative efforts geared to the specific needs of our communities were also identified needs.

The rent and insurance for the space will be covered under the Age-Friendly Community grant, providing stability for the SRVC to move ahead with their plans to build a self-sustaining social enterprise.  The space is fully accessible and will bring seniors into the family focus once more.

The tea always on.  Stop by for a visit.  Office hours Tuesday and Thursdays 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Phone number 250-250-642-6364 Ext. 235.  Check out more about SRVC on the community resources website www.sookeregionresources.com

Just Posted

Yarns, string and human hair pose a risk to Greater Victoria birds

Wild ARC handles a number of entanglement cases each year

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts visits Victoria for Comic Con

He says he’s looking forward to the event, but don’t ask him where the snake is

UPDATED: Missing Victoria man found dead in Port Renfrew

Police continuing investigation, death not considered suspicious

Free blood type tattoo with donation draws crowds in Finland

One in two people is eligible and able to donate blood, but only one in 60 people actually do

Greater Victoria workforce gets older but also more diverse

By 2036, Greater Victoria will have roughly two workers for every person 65 years and older

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read