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Celebrate National Volunteer Week April 15 to 21

Oak Bay Volunteer Services throws open is doors and encourages the public to come in and chat next week during National Volunteer Week.

“It’s a chance to talk about the great opportunities we have for volunteers in the community,” said Renee Lormé-Gulbrandsen, Oak Bay Volunteer Services’ executive director.

The organization, with a staff of four and close to 200 volunteers in the community, works to make Oak Bay a better place on a daily basis.

With a client base in which 85 per cent are 65 and older, with many of those in their late 80s, 90s, and 100s, the volunteers provide some of the necessary services to help them age-in-place.

“Anyone can get a taxi and have that transportation but what we do is we bring in volunteers who are passionate about helping people and it makes a huge difference,” said Lormé-Gulbrandsen. “One of the most important parts of our work is the companionship piece. We get wonderful feedback from our clients saying how much of an impact the volunteers have made in their lives.”

The open houses are Wednesday (April 18), Thursday (19), and Friday (20) from 9 a.m. to noon in the lower part of municipal hall.

There will be refreshments to enjoy while discussing all the flexible ways to get involved as a volunteer. Volunteers can have regular shifts or be on call, and tasks can range from driving clients to appointments, going for a walk together, doing odd jobs around the house, providing reassurance phone calls, or doing administrative work.

They have volunteers with a range of age and experience and they are always looking for more.

“We have volunteers that have been with us for 30+ years. We have really committed people that are dedicated to making a difference in the community,” said Lormé-Gulbrandsen. “No matter your age or circumstances there is an opportunity for everybody.”

In Oak Bay alone, the impact being felt by volunteer experience is huge. The recent volunteer fair made that clear.

“While our staff are supportive of the great work our volunteers are doing, the volunteers are really the ones in the community making a difference. We are really happy to facilitate that for Oak Bay,” said Lormé-Gulbrandsen.



keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

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