Maureen Stevens, a volunteer with the West Shore RCMP's Keep In Touch program, chats with a client to ensure everything is fine. (Photo courtesy of Heather Allan)

West Shore RCMP’s Keep In Touch Program connects with clients despite pandemic

KIT program ensures human contact and companionship

The importance of human contact and companionship high right now amid the limitations caused by COVID-19.

The West Shore RCMP’s Keep in Touch Program (KIT) fills a void for people through phone calls from volunteers who check in to ensure their well-being, explained Heather Allan, administrative clerk for West Shore RCMP’s Community Policing.

Volunteers make calls Monday through Saturday at a specific time that suits the 32 KIT clients in the West Shore and Sooke who don’t have family or friends that are able to check in on them regularly.

The program, the first of its kind in the province, has been adapted by other detachments since it was launched in 2002.

“We call to ensure everything is okay and share a little conversation with each individual,” Allan said. “Our clients really appreciate that contact and connection, even more so during the pandemic.”

READ ALSO: West Shore RCMP officer recognized for intervening in mental health crisis

Although one of the highlights at Christmas time for clients and volunteers alike involves dropping off cookies and goodies prepared by volunteers, COVID-19 has made that more challenging this year, Allan noted.

Randie Johal, a volunteer with the West Shore Auxiliary, stepped up to ensure all of the health guidelines and protocols will be followed so the KIT clients can receive a no-contact tin of treats and a poinsettia for the holidays.

“All of the volunteers and clients were very disappointed when we had to cancel out annual Spring Tea for KIT clients at the detachment because of COVID,” Allan said. “Some of these clients have limited contact, so it was important to continue this Christmas tradition.”

“We currently have 11 people very dedicated to the work they do with the KIT program, but we are always looking for more volunteers,” Allan said.

Those who are interested must go through a security clearance. Call Allan at 250-474-2264 for more information.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


 

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