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


Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

medical devicesSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emily Harris (centre) started the in-person Monarch Moms meet-up groups in July, when it was much easier to physical distance in outdoor spaces. Harris started the group as a source of connection for women navigating the ups and downs of having a baby during a pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria new mom group navigates challenges of motherhood in a pandemic

Monarch Moms meet once a week for physically-distanced connection

The Takaya inspired sculpture currently in Kent Laforme’s outdoor studio. The 25,000-pound piece of Vancouver Island marble could be installed on Cattle Point. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

Joanne Smith has been visiting Goldstream Provincial Park since she moved to Langford two years ago. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Most Read