The Envision Counselling and Support Centre is recognizing volunteers and elderly women in the community as the organization marks International Women's Day on March 8.
Volunteers donate their time to answer calls for Envision's 24-hour Abuse/Sexual Assault Support Line.
“I enjoy volunteering for Envision because one small phone call could greatly impact someone else's life,” said an anonymous Envision volunteer. “The line provides a service that is non-judgmental, confidential and free.”
Before starting to answer calls, the volunteers undergo specialized training to help them provide support to callers on the province-wide phone line, which has been in operation for nearly 20 years. The volunteers attend monthly meetings to share stories and upgrade their training.
Envision's volunteers are ordinary women in the Estevan area who offer support to callers.
“Our volunteers are everyday women who might not even have a lot of time to give, but they feel so strongly about the issues surrounding violence and abuse, that they still dedicate a couple of shifts to the 24-hour line,” said Envision volunteer coordinator Laura Lausen.
“International Women’s Day is a great chance to recognize our volunteers because they give without looking for recognition. It’s a very special group of women that I’m very proud to work with.”
Envision volunteers contribute more than 100,000 hours of volunteer time per year, the organization said in a press release.
“This spring, we’re piloting something new,” says Lausen. “Select volunteers will begin sharing their talents with us in the office, to assist staff with various projects. It’s a new avenue for both the volunteers and our organization.”
Envision's other International Women's Day initiative will see staff members present roses to women at seniors’ residences in Estevan, Weyburn and Carlyle, to celebrate the women's accomplishments, and to publicly honour volunteers who work anonymously in the community, and request no public recognition.