Huntsville volunteers get vested for stellar training performance
Huntsville volunteers get vested for stellar training performance.
CERTIFIED. Volunteers Cynthia Simpson, left, and Linda Watt, Huntsville-Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce’s Allison O’Mara, volunteer Janet Hazelwood and social media marketing course leader Randy Mitson celebrate the volunteers’ certification with the presentation of new vests on Monday, Oct. 29. (Submitted Photo)
November 16, 2012
HUNTSVILLE – Some of Huntsville’s volunteers will now be wearing snazzy new vests.
Allison O’Meara of the Huntsville-Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce said at least six dedicated individuals have completed a series of training sessions ranging from first aid to customer services and have now been recognized as certified volunteers.
“It’s going to help the community to have volunteers that are certified and we truly appreciate their dedication and the time they have put into becoming certified,” said O’Meara.
The chamber kick-started its volunteer training and recruitment initiative in September by offering the first of several skills enhancement and training courses to volunteers in the community.
Part of the reason for the initiative was to encourage new volunteers to join the ranks and subsequently ease volunteer fatigue in the community. Having highly skilled volunteers may also make the area more attractive to event organizers and thereby boost economic development here.
O’Meara said about 20 to 35 people have attended each of the various training sessions. Those who successfully complete six of seven unique sessions are recognized as certified volunteers and then receive a vest to acknowledge the feat.
“The vest has symbolic value that they are recognized in the community and at events,” said O’Meara. “But I also feel that we are giving these vest to them to show our appreciation to them, for their hard work and we want them to have something tangible when they finish the course, something they will use all the time.”
She noted that certified volunteers can be given greater responsibility during events because of their training. The skills and knowledge they have obtained will help them create successful events.
And, she said, some of their training such as first aid and CPR can be applied to events as well as the community in general.
“They could save a life,” she said.
Training sessions include emergency first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, disability awareness, Smart Serve, leadership, social media and marketing, food handling, and customer service and being a difference maker.
O’Meara said the chamber will offer courses again in the new year and more volunteers will likely become certified.
The chamber has one more course scheduled before the new year regarding Smart
Serve training on Dec. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Robinsons Independent Grocer. Space is limited and those interested in more information can contact the chamber at 705-789-4771 or visit its website at huntsvillelakeofbays.on.ca.
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