REACH volunteers key to community outREACH
REACH Edmonton’s 36 active volunteers are integral to REACH’s ability to connect with the community at public events and resource fairs.
“They are ambassadors for REACH out in the community,” said Kelly Holland, Community OutREACH coordinator for REACH Edmonton. “They’re promoting the work that REACH Edmonton does.”
Volunteers say they also benefit from the experience through networking and training opportunities.
“This is my fifth year that I have been volunteering with REACH,” said Fathiya Abdillahi, a registered social worker. “I have met incredible individuals and I have had great opportunities to attend innovative workshops. I have gained knowledge, endless resources and networking with other agencies. I have grown personally and professionally because of the workshops, events and the great people I have met in the process.”
Some volunteers started out as student interns and decided to stay on as long-term volunteers.
“I began as a SCiP student in 2013, after hearing about the long-term impact that the resources REACH provides can have,” said Jaasmit Khurana, a medical student at the University of Alberta. “I believe that the biggest thing REACH has given me is the opportunity to learn how to discuss sensitive topics with others. These have been valuable experiences for the type of population I’ll interact with, and I’ve had a chance to meet peers who are just as passionate about community care as I am.”
Without the work of volunteers, REACH’s ability to be represented at many community events would be limited.
“They support our community outreach program by attending events, conferences, symposiums and resource fairs, allowing REACH to be present when staff are unable,” said Holland. “We cannot be at all of these events unless we have the volunteers who are able to help. And because of that they are a valuable part of our team.”