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KCR: Upcoming workshops build capacity

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources

As regular readers know, KCR is the home of the Central Okanagan Volunteer Centre and so we usually feature volunteer stories in this space. Today I want to share about the capacity building workshops that our Community Services Team also provides to the community, especially a new workshop “Suicide Awareness and Crisis Prevention”. This workshop was created when we identified the need for frontline workers to have specialized training post-pandemic, as they face increased mental health needs of participants and customers. Thanks to the support of the KGH Foundation and the “We See You Campaign”, this valuable curriculum was created by Christina MacIsaac, a local consultant, who helped to create the original curriculum used to train Crisis Line Responders in the Central Okanagan.

“We were fortunate that Christina was able to take on the creation of this curriculum as she has extensive experience and training in both crisis response and in non-profit management,” says Ellen Boelcke, executive director of KCR Community Resources. “She worked with our amazing Crisis Line team to ensure the information was current and relevant.”

“This type of training is critical at this time for all workers and we are grateful to the KGH Foundation for their support,” adds Boelcke. “The training empowers frontline workers, providing tools and resources they can action to support those participants who may be facing crises, helping them to de-escalate and to identify viable options for themselves.”

The pilot workshop will include two three-hour sessions, coming up on June 7 & 14 at 1:00 – 4:00 pm at KCR Community Resources. Participants must attend both sessions. Anyone interested in participating in this pilot session for free, please contact me at

“We initially tried to keep the workshop to one three-hour session, appreciating how busy everyone is these days” explains Boelcke. “However, the feedback from our first pilot group was that they wanted time to practice scenarios so that they were more confident moving into real life situations. We listened to them and are ready to pilot this new, more interactive workshop now.”

The training will prepare frontline workers to navigate a variety of situations with participants and topics covered include:

•Suicide & Crisis Awareness •Suicide & Crisis Response •Communication •Supports & Resources •Self Care

Additional workshops that help to build the capacity of non-profits and their teams include the Overview of Volunteer Management, an eight-week program that take volunteer managers through the important steps in recruiting, training and deploying volunteers. This series starts

on June 8 and those interested can register at

“As all non-profit organizations rely on volunteers to deliver on their Missions, we recognize the vital role that the volunteer managers play in organizations,” states Boelcke. “This course offers incredibly important tools and resources that the managers need for successful volunteer programs. I know our organization relies on the support of over 350 volunteers each year and we simply couldn’t do this work without them.”

To learn more about the Suicide Awareness and Crisis Response Training or Overview of Volunteer Management, please contact me at or 250-763-8008 x254. Or check out our full slate of workshops at

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at

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