“We came to this room feeling excited, scared, but very determined.” In those words student Lora Hollett described the mixed emotions experienced by the ten ladies who completed the 12 weeks of learning as basic homecare workers.
On Wednesday, June 20, the TIOW (Targeted Initiative for Older Workers) Co-ordinator Cindy Roberts and her ladies met at the Hermitage-Sandyville Town Hall for a graduation ceremony, a time for congratulatory speeches and certificate presentations.
Ms. Roberts acted as emcee, and she first read messages of congratulations from people who had been involved in the project at some stage but were unable to attend their celebrations: from Mayor Douglas Rose, from MHA Tracey Perry, from Conrad Collier at the Coast of Bays Corporation, and from their teacher Carolyn Hamlyn who was unavailable because of very unfortunate personal circumstances.
MHA Perry wrote, “I am very proud of you graduates. You have all taken great strides that will assist in diversifying your local economy and more importantly allow our seniors to remain active members of their community while residing in their own homes.”
On hand to present certificates was Judy Dobson, Business Development Officer with the College of the North Atlantic, who thanked all who were involved in getting the project going and them making it work. “I have to mention the ladies who came back to school with so much determination, “ she said. “You have so much from your experiences, and you have taken away so much.”
Lora Hollett, speaking on behalf of the students, talked about their relationship with Carolyn Hamlyn, their instructor for eight weeks, and Holly Benoit who for four weeks taught them the basics of homecare. “We are so thankful to them, we learned so much, and we are now doing hands-on work at clients’ homes,” Lora said.
Next each of the ten ladies received a folder of certificates from Judy Dobson and Holly Benoit: a certificate of participation in Introduction to Home Care, a certificate from St. John Ambulance in first aid and CPR, a certificate of completion of a one day workshop in back injury presentation, and a WHMIS card.
These newly trained workers are presently placed in clients’ homes until their weeks of hands-on training ends in September.