To celebrate National Volunteer Week 2022, we are profiling a new FCBC volunteer each day this week! Today, we feature a Q&A with our amazing volunteer, Annemarie Travers.
Name: Annemarie Travers
Volunteer Role: Currently a Support Group Facilitator and Memory Cafe host. I previously volunteered for Advanced Care Planning training, as an interviewer for the FCBC Annual Review, and a Walk and Talk host.
Why I choose to volunteer with FCBC: So many reasons! To begin with, I am impressed with this organization and the broad range of supports and services they offer. The organizational philosophy and values fit with mine. I also have a lot of people who are caregivers in my personal network and I see the struggles they face, as well as the value of having a place to go to for information or a listening ear. Volunteering with this organization provides me with an opportunity to learn more about the range of services and supports that are available, and I can then share my learning within my personal network. I have a great deal of respect for those who take on the responsibilities of caregiving, and even more respect for those who are wise enough to ask for help in doing so. And finally, volunteering with FCBC provides me with an opportunity to use the skills and experience I developed in my career to serve the community at large.
My personal caregiving experience and/or association is/has been: Several members of my family and circle of friends are providing care. I sometimes identify myself as a caregiver to a caregiver as I provide support to my brother-in-law who is caring for my sister-in-law through early onset Alzheimer’s.
Upon reflection of your volunteer investment, my favourite part of working with FCBC/family caregivers is: I feel very respected as a volunteer, and in my experience everyone in the organization goes beyond lip service in recognizing the value that volunteers can contribute. I feel very much a part of the FCBC team, and appreciate the support provided to volunteers, including the communities of practice.
What would you say to others who may be interested in becoming a FCBC volunteer? I have recruited a couple of volunteers, and here is what I have said to them: As noted above, I am impressed with the organization – all of the staff are skilled, committed and very supportive of their volunteers. I also like serving an organization that has kept its focus on service rather than fundraising (which can distract from service). Finally, in my experience volunteering with FCBC, I have found that they respect the skills you bring, will support you to develop them further, and allow you to be as involved as you like.
Favourite quote/motto or words of wisdom for other caregivers: Asking for help is hard, but it can be a lifesaver.