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Parkinson Society of British Columbia (PARKINSON’s SUPPORT GROUP FACILITATOR (Kelowna))

Organization Name: Parkinson Society of British Columbia
Category: Social and Community Service
Commitment: Ongoing Opportunity (> 1 year)
Start Date: December 10, 2021
End Date: January 7, 2022

  • Background/police check required
  • Appropriate for volunteers aged between 18 and 55
  • Appropriate for volunteers aged 55 and over
Opportunity Description:

Established in 1969, Parkinson Society British Columbia’s (PSBC’s) mission is to empower the Parkinson’s community in British Columbia through providing resources and services, such as support groups, to enable self-management, self-reliance, and self-advocacy. Over 15,000 British Columbians and 100,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and due to the increase in the aging population, the number of Canadians over 40 living with Parkinson’s is expected to rise 65 percent by 2031. Parkinson’s disease not only affects those with the disease, it also affects family members and caregivers. Support groups offer many positive benefits to people affected by Parkinson’s such as compassion, learning, improving social skills, and gaining hope.   Volunteer Description: A support group facilitator works to create an environment that is safe and respectful, and where participants feel comfortable sharing their experiences, insight and knowledge with others. A support group facilitator will also assist with the delivery of PSBC approved information, education, and resources for people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers/families. Currently, the facilitator will be coordinating online meetings until further notice. We are seeking a facilitator who will be able to conduct online meetings and be available to facilitate in-person meetings when they resume. The time commitment for this position is 2-3 hours This volunteer must reside in the Kelowna, BC area. The facilitator is responsible for and works with the support group to: Establish their role as a collaborator: the facilitator is not an expert. Conduct group meetings in a caring, respectful, and compassionate manner Promote the value of empowerment, encouraging individuals to be involved in making decisions about their own car Presides as MC/Chairperson for Meetings When in-door meetings return, liaises with the venue manager (church or other venue if needed) Opens, closes, and secures the Support Group meeting venue (when return to in person). Establish, with input from group participants, a list of ground rules and goals and review the list with the group on a regular basis. Foster an opportunity for people to interact with others dealing with similar health concerns; facilitate sharing of experiences living with Parkinson’s. Liaise with PSBC staff on behalf of the gr Communicate and provide PSBC approved resources, events, webinars, and information Develop and maintain a list of participants’ addresses, phone numbers, and emails. Develop a facilitation committee of two or three people sharing responsibilities; ask for help with group communications, health guidelines, photocopying, room setup, etc. Introduce newcomers, explain group guidelines such as confidentiality, and help them connect with group The group facilitator works with Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC) to: Support the goals of PSBC in local communities with an emphasis on providing information, support and fellowship for people with Parkinson’s and their families. Provide PSBC with updated group lists, including addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses on an annual Encourage group participants to participate in PSBC educational events/webinars Coordinate group meetings details with PSBC Follow PSBC Support Group Health Guidelines Be guided by the suggestions and decisions of PSBC staff. Attend training/education provided by PSBC about Parkinson’s disease and enhancing facilitator’s skills, including quarterly facilitator teleconferences. Group Interaction and Communication Ensure group participants understand and adhere to the confidentiality policy. Moderate the discussions in the group to ensure that those who are talkative do not monopolize the discussion. Gently redirect attention to less vocal participants. Encourage discussions of problem areas to take on a constructive tone although there will be times when participants need to freely express their feelings even if their tone seems negative. Remind the group that the symptoms, treatment and progression of Parkinson’s are unique so others’ experiences may be different from one’s own. Present information and encourage discussion that is honest, while at the same time promotes a feeling of optimism. Remind participants to adopt a ‘consumers beware’ approach to non-PSBC approved information shared in the group and to do their own research before acting. Email a copy of GroupLink to each participant and photocopy (black and white is just fine) 2 or 3 copies to bring to the meetings for those without email. For more information about this position, please contact Liz Janze at or 604-662-3240 ext. 228

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