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inclusion Powell River seeks staff, volunteers, to help people of all ages in community

Demand for services increases during pandemic
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SUNNY DAYS: Group home resident Richard Beaton [left] and Taylor Wick [right], one of inclusion Powell River’s (iPR) residential support workers, enjoy some recent sunshine. iPR is hiring several full- and part-time positions as the organization expands services in the community.

One of Powell River’s largest employers is growing, and for anyone thinking about entering or reentering the workforce or switching industries, inclusion Powell River (iPR) may be the ideal fit for their next career.

“We are an organization that serves people from infancy to old age,” says Lilla Tipton, chief executive officer of iPR. “We serve people of all ages with intellectual and physical disabilities, children with extra needs and older adults. Last year, we supported 616 unique individuals of all ages in the qathet region.”

While the pandemic has been difficult for some industries, iPR has grown over the last 12 months. The organization opened two new youth residential homes and is adding two more, as well as two new adult group homes. The staff complement increased by 38 per cent, and iPR is currently seeking 14 new full- and part-time employees to join their team.

“Because we provide on-the-job training, we encourage everyone to apply, regardless of their education or previous experience,” says Wendy Reynolds, iPR’s director of human resources. “If you care about people, have good attention to detail, and are willing to learn and grow, iPR will be a good fit for you.

“Right now, our greatest need is for people interested in working in Residential Services for adults and youth, and for individuals with Early Childhood Education certification to join our Supported Child Development program. Anyone with a passion for making a difference in people’s lives should apply.”

iPR is also seeking volunteers to deliver its Better at Home program. The program helps Powell River seniors live at home longer by providing transportation to medical appointments, assistance with grocery shopping and household tasks, and friendly phone calls or visits.

“The pandemic increased the demand for Better at Home support, but our volunteer base hasn’t increased,” says Lilla. “We’re currently providing services to 185 seniors in the community, and providing them with ways to stay connected to the community are big factors in how long they’re able to stay in their homes. Even a couple of hours a week can make a huge difference to someone.”

iPR has a long history in Powell River. Started in 1954 by a group of parents who wanted community opportunities for their children with intellectual disabilities, the breadth of service has grown to include residential homes and assistance for children, families and seniors.

“We have been part of Powell River for almost 70 years, and I think that longevity has had an impact on Powell River’s culture,” says Lilla. “I think more people here recognize that including people of all abilities makes our society better, and everyone’s life richer.”

Employees at iPR find the work very fulfilling, and the organization is committed to helping team members explore their strengths and develop new skills, according to Wendy.

“We have many team members who tell us that making a difference in someone else’s life makes a huge difference in their own lives as well,” she adds. “We also provide our team members with opportunities for professional and personal development, and the chance to try different roles that suit their interests and expertise.”

iPR is hosting a virtual job fair on Thursday, June 24, 2021, with sessions at 10 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm via Zoom. The sessions will also include a Q&A with current team members. For more information or to register, contact communications@inclusionpr.ca.

To see the positions available, go to inclusionpr.ca/get-involved/jobs, and for more information on volunteering for the Better at Home program, visit inclusionpr.ca/get-involved/volunteer, or call 604.485.4008.