Volunteer Cowichan is expanding their Better at Home program during the COVID-19 crisis to include people who aren’t seniors who are isolated at home. (Photo courtesy of USDA.)

Volunteer Cowichan encouraging anyone in need to reach out

"...we really want the public to know that Volunteer Cowichan isn't limited to only helping seniors"

Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, Volunteer Cowichan is working to connect those in need to the services they require while also recruiting and training volunteers to offer help.

One of the ways they are doing this is through the “Cowichan Region Better at Home” program.

This program is normally for people 65 and over living in the Cowichan region to help seniors with non-medical, day-to-day tasks so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes.

“During this COVID-19 emergency, we really want the public to know that Volunteer Cowichan isn’t limited to only helping seniors,” explains advises Jennifer Lazenby, executive director.

“We know there are many people self isolating, some may be ill or immune compromised and not have someone they can call on to help.

“We want them to know they are not alone and help is available to them as well,” Lazenby added.

The program includes grocery shopping and friendly phone calls. With the recently announced increase in funding by the provincial government, this service is anticipating being expanded to increase capacity and include those on waitlists and new seniors who call in.

Working in partnership with the new bc211 “Safe Seniors, Strong Communities” program, those over 65 can connect to local services and supports by calling 211. For those who are younger and self isolating who also need supports, contact Volunteer Cowichan directly to be connected to services.

Volunteers are signing up to pick up and deliver groceries, prescriptions and other essentials so those at higher risk, can safely stay home.

Those able to volunteer are also encouraged to contact Volunteer Cowichan. Protocols and guidelines have been established to support and train volunteers to stay healthy and safe while still serving those in the community who are in need.

“We’re really trying to encourage people to check in on their neighbours, friends and family; and can provide training and supports on how to do that safely,” says Lazenby.

Anyone in need or willing to volunteer can call 250-748-2133 ext. 0 and leave a message or email vc@volunteercowichan.bc.ca

Cowichan Valley Citizen

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