Victoria Health Co-op: Wanted: Volunteers!

Victoria Health Co-op

By Vanessa Hammond
Chair, Victoria Health Co-operative

We thank you for joining us at our 2019 Annual General Meeting last month, on February 23. It is always a pleasure to gather together to celebrate the contribution of not-for-profits, societies, co-ops and those who volunteer their time each year. We are fortunate to live in a country rich in volunteers and a beautiful city in a spectacular province. And we have much to celebrate in the Victoria Health Co-op, and some questions for you, whether or not you are members.

You have probably already heard, due to our enthusiastic announcements over the past months, that we have funding for the salary for a nurse practitioner who will provide primary health care services at the Cook St Village Activity Centre and for residents of My Place (part of the Our Place family). We are working to ensure that she will also be able to provide community outreach services at Centennial United Church - check our website and Facebook for updates on our fundraising efforts and project goals. Along with this new initiative, we continue to provide monthly members only Wellness Clinic, asking our members to be as generous as possible to support the Health Access Fund through their donations to Creating Community Wellness Society.

We, a very small group of volunteers, need some additional community support to maintain these programs, keep writing funding proposals, lead Choices and Hans Kai outreach programs and run the monthly wellness clinics as well as introducing two new community services. Whether you are a member of the Victoria Health Co-op or a willing volunteer, please consider the following requests if you are available to help, or pass this information on to someone who might be able to help.

The Victoria Health Co-operative is looking for:

  • A grant writer and/or researcher who can help with the five to ten funding applications we write each year to run our programs

  • Financial contributions to the Creating Community Wellness Society to fund the supply of furniture (exam table etc), medical equipment and disposables for the nurse practitioner’s office, plus the salary for a medical office assistant in our community partners’ spaces.

  • Board director positions to be filled including a secretary for either the Victoria Health Co-op or the Creating Community Wellness Society (CCWS), a treasurer for the CWWS with a good understanding of Canada Revenue Agency, and an enthusiastic fundraising coordinator for CCWS

New volunteers would be joining a wonderful group of volunteers, receive good training to develop their skills, and a very warm welcome! By growing our team of volunteers we can reduce the amount of work for each of us and benefit from shared ideas and skills, and make strong connections in our community.

Wellness and health matter. Would you help us reach more people in our community? For more information, please contact Vanessa at vichealthcoop@gmail.com or 250 415 9272. Please plan to attend our events, say hello and connect with new people. Our board members are happy to answer questions and receive new ideas - we welcome discussion in person or over email.

Stay tuned for event postings. We are excited to be hosting a political panel for our next Co-op Café session on March 30 from 3pm-5pm at James Bay New Horizons. We have invited Murray Rankin, Lisa Helps and councillors to discuss the contribution of Co-operatives to a healthy community – please come with YOUR comments about the need for government at all levels to support community-owned enterprises. We will wrap up our Co-op Café series in May with our co-host BC Co-op Association and plan more opportunities for members to meet and connect in person.

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