Langley Senior Resources Society is encouraging people to join them in making a difference in the lives of senior citizens in the community.
The society is currently in the midst of training a new crop of volunteers and is looking to expand its team.
Janice McTaggart, volunteer services coordinator for the organization, shared information about the volunteer program and the impact it has on the community.
“We have very hands-on opportunities, as well as friendship and support opportunities,” said McTaggart. “Gardening, driving, serving, shopping, mentoring kids in reading, calling or visiting isolated seniors, helping at fundraising events.”
To become a volunteer with Langley Senior Resources Society, the qualifications and skills required vary depending on the area of work. But McTaggart emphasized the importance of valuing seniors and their stories, and being a team player.
“Some [roles] require the ability to be on feet for a few hours,” McTaggart added.
Interested individuals can apply to become volunteers by visiting the society’s website, lsrs.ca or by obtaining an application at the front desk.
“We also require a current criminal records check and for drivers, a clean driver’s abstract and insurance. All volunteers will also undergo an interview,” she explained.
The volunteer training process, which is held twice a year in February and September, is designed to provide volunteers with a comprehensive understanding of the society and the services it offers.
McTaggart explained that the training covers communication skills, working with disabilities, community resources, social isolation, and elder abuse.
“I find that the training is valuable to the volunteers themselves and their own circles,” she added.
The society supports and recognizes its volunteers in various ways.
The volunteer services manager stays in contact with all volunteers and the society hosts events to honour their contributions.
“We often have folks who have been with us for 20-plus years,” McTaggart said. “We also do a volunteer spotlight in our monthly newsletter.”
McTaggart even shared some testimonials from volunteers who have expressed the sense of purpose and fulfillment they gained from becoming part of the team at the seniors centre.
“Volunteering provides them with social connections and a sense of belonging,” she said. “Each has a unique reason for coming, but most express a desire to give back to the community.”
The impact of the volunteers in the community and the seniors they serve is immeasurable, McTaggart added.
“A friendly greeting or voice on the phone can make all the difference to a lonely senior. And the practical services offered by the society allow seniors to maintain their independence for as long as possible.”
“Volunteers are also our eyes in the community and can let us know if things are changing for a particular client,” McTaggart explained. “We can then follow up with services needed.”
“Everyone has a story and a history that we can learn from. Embrace the seniors in your life and let them know they are valued,” she concluded.
LSRS is located at 20605 51B Ave., and open Mondays to Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, people can call at 604-530-3020.
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