Talking to strangers & leaving a positive community foot print

While on the train today, a woman - who appeared to be in her eighties -  gingerly glided into the seat beside me. We exchanged a friendly smile, and she offered me a digestive biscuit (I don’t know why they call it that, they are anything but easily digested). I took a piece, and asked … Continue reading Talking to strangers & leaving a positive community foot print

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Cultural Competency Training & Service User Support

DECONSTRUCTING CULTURE: Culture is a term that is used - in various ways, by different disciplines - to describe the knowledge, arts, languages, beliefs, customs, rules and collective identities and memories held by an individual or community. Culture is also a term that is often overused, that is politically charged, and whose definition can be … Continue reading Cultural Competency Training & Service User Support

Creating Organizations that Foster Volunteer Loyalty

The success and relevance of any business almost entirely depends on their ability to cultivate customer loyalty. And, ensuring customer satisfaction at each “organizational touchpoint”  (in-person, phone, email, website, and external media) can lead to customer loyalty; where the customer returns and also tells others about their great customer experience. For-profit organizations invest heavily in the development … Continue reading Creating Organizations that Foster Volunteer Loyalty

Non Profit Sector Work: Leading Yourself Through Change

Constant change has become a day-to-day reality for not for profit organizations. They must adapt to the changing needs and requirements of their stakeholders in areas such as funding and fundraising, community engagement, financial reporting and technology upgrades. The ability to be productive while accommodating multiple changes is a must-have skill for managers, staff and … Continue reading Non Profit Sector Work: Leading Yourself Through Change

Social Determinants of Health: Connecting Self-Care to Access

“The definitive factors in determining whether someone is in good health extend significantly beyond access to care and include the conditions in their life and the conditions of their neighborhoods and communities.”­­ — John Auerbach DECONSTRUCTING SELF-CARE ADVICE: When I speak with my friends – and others – about self-care it often feels like a privileged … Continue reading Social Determinants of Health: Connecting Self-Care to Access

The Value of Community Hubs: Four Reasons to Love Your Local Library

COMMUNITY HUBS SUPPORT COMMUNITY HEALTH: Do you know what a community hub is? You should. Community hubs promote healthy communities. According to the government of Ontario (2010), community hubs “make it easier for local residents to access the health, social, cultural, recreational and other resources they need together in one spot. It can be located in a … Continue reading The Value of Community Hubs: Four Reasons to Love Your Local Library

Peer Support 101: Using Peer Support to Tell Your Story

“Being heard meets a deep-seated human need for connection. The simple yet critically important act of being acknowledged, being listened to – truly being heard – changes everything. It changes the person being listened to and therefore everything connected to that person”. Center for Digital Storytelling We hear our first stories at home. We then use these stories to … Continue reading Peer Support 101: Using Peer Support to Tell Your Story

Making Time For Art: Two Artists Worth Knowing About

All work and no play makes for a very unbalanced life! So, this summer, after work,  I spent my evenings enjoying local art shows, and visiting the ROM and AGO. This made for a very rejuvenating summer. And, according to the Department of Health and Arts Council England publication, 'A Prospectus for Arts and Health' … Continue reading Making Time For Art: Two Artists Worth Knowing About

A New Peer Support Model For Your Self Help ToolKit

I love to source and introduce people to a variety of peer support  models. I am also inspired by the way that certain individuals  – or communities –  will take the best elements from certain models, to create a process that works best for them.  As an example, a late friend of mine was inspired by the work of Harvey … Continue reading A New Peer Support Model For Your Self Help ToolKit

TAVA: A Great Resource For Volunteer Managers in Toronto

“Volunteers are the heartbeat of the charitable and nonprofit sector.” According to Imagine Canada, the “charitable and nonprofit sector contributes an average of 8.1% of total Canadian GDP, more than the retail trade industry and close to the value of the mining, oil and gas extraction industry”. This can be attributed – in no small part – … Continue reading TAVA: A Great Resource For Volunteer Managers in Toronto

Walking In Toronto: Alone Or With A Group

These days we tend to have very sedentary lifestyles. We drive or take public transit to work. While at work, we sit in front of computers for most of the day. Then, we head home to sit in front of our television or computers. And, if we go out we choose to go somewhere to sit  – … Continue reading Walking In Toronto: Alone Or With A Group

A History of Labour Day in Canada

For "most" people, Labour Day is a public holiday, which affords us some  downtime to rest and to see our friends/loved ones. And, this is great. However, in addition to the former, it might also benefit us to think of Labour Day as a time to pause and to remember the reason for, and or history … Continue reading A History of Labour Day in Canada

Making Friends in Adulthood

“Living a long life, the conventional wisdom at the time said, depended to a great extent on who we were—that is, our genes. It depended on the decisions we made—on what we chose to eat, and how much we chose to exercise, and how effectively we were treated by the medical system. No one was … Continue reading Making Friends in Adulthood

Respecting Fashion and the Environment

THE FINANCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF OUR CLOTHES: In 2011 the UK non-profit Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) released their ‘Valuing our clothes’ report, which provided a “look at the financial and environmental aspects of the whole journey of all clothing; from raw material, to manufacture, purchase, use and disposal of our clothes”. On their website, … Continue reading Respecting Fashion and the Environment