Streamway Villa and Burnbrae Gardens engage community at volunteer fair

The Community Care Northumberland Volunteer Fair was a valuable recruitment and networking opportunity, say LECs

A recent volunteer fair was an opportunity for two OMNI Health Care long-term-care home team members to connect with people, raise awareness of their homes’ presence in the community and develop possible opportunities for people to donate their time in meaningful ways.

Laurie Kracht from Streamway Villa and April Faux of Burnbrae Gardens attended the Community Care Northumberland Volunteer Fair held at the Lions Community Centre in Cobourg on Oct. 18.

The fair attracted more than two dozen local organizations and about 120 people who were interested in volunteering.

Laurie, the life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Streamway Villa, says people stopped by the booth she and April, the administrator and LEC at Burnbrae Gardens, operated at the fair to pick up pamphlets, learn about the homes and discuss opportunities.

“People would come by and we would educate them on what we do and why volunteering in long-term care is important – and it was a good turnout, we had people flowing in all day long,” Laurie tells The OMNIway.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, many organizations had to put their volunteer programs on hold. With restrictions easing this year, many organizations, including long-term care homes, have struggled to bring volunteers back.

The good news is some people who stopped by the OMNI booth expressed interest in volunteering at Streamway Villa and Burnbrae Gardens, including students who were looking for volunteer placements as part of their high school curriculum requirement.

While the event was held in Cobourg, where Streamway Villa is located, April says some visitors to the booth who expressed interest in volunteering were from Hastings, near Burnbrae Gardens in Campbellford.

April adds attending the fair was a chance to explain to people that volunteering in long-term care homes helps enhance the quality of life for residents in many ways.

April and Laurie also explained that homes will create opportunities that match volunteers’ strengths and interests.

“There are lots of opportunities for volunteers in long-term care, and I think we were able to communicate that and explain just how many opportunities are within a home,” April says.

“There were a lot of surprised people who didn’t know we do so many things.”

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