We have over 90 active volunteers supporting the society, and we couldn't do this important work without them!
Volunteers take on a variety of roles at the Victoria Brain Injury Society, from front desk reception to group facilitation.
Click HERE if you are interested in learning more about our volunteering opportunities.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”
While at the University of Victoria working on her degree, several of Megan’s classes talked about the Victoria Brain Injury Society and had members come in to provide personal testimonies. Megan was touched by their stories and wanted to help. She finished her degree in April 2012 and finally had some spare time to think about volunteering. Working as both reception and reception floater she loves seeing the same smiling faces week after week come in for peer support. Megan has been volunteering at VBIS since January 2013 and is so happy to be a part of the great work the society does for its many members.
Lane has been volunteering with VBIS since April 2013. Since that time, he has found a place as a facilitator for Thursday night's Youth Supporting Youth Program, a 18 - 25 social group, during which young adults with brain injuries have an opportunity to share a safe space with others who share similar experiences, and chat about brain injury related issues, or anything of interest.
Lane is studying biopsychology at Uvic with a particular interest in the neurology of autism spectrum disorders. One fateful day, he saw a poster buried deep within a cluttered notice board, and decided to visit VBIS. Throughout his studies, he found case studies of brain injury to be scientific and objective, very neat and tidy, but giving no actual understanding of what it is like to be a person with brain injury. For example, Lane says, a text might say "Patient R.M. experienced severe deficits in emotional processing, facial recognition, and hemispatial neglect due to lesions in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, FFA, and the dorsal stream," but it gives no understanding of what it is like to wake up every day as a real person who can't control his anger, cannot perceive anything to his left, and cannot even recognize his own face in the mirror.
This is why Lane was driven to gain greater understanding of what it is like to be a person with a brain injury, rather than a mere scientific/medical phenomenon. Lane says the experience has been highly rewarding, and he has met many wonderful people.
Andrea is a master's student studying Neuropsychology at the University of Victoria. She is fascinated by the complex relationship between our brains and our behaviour. Her interest in brain injury started in her undergrad, but her passion for improving rehabilitation strategies started with her volunteer experiences at the Victoria Brain Injury Society. Facilitating group sessions including the Coping Skills, Acquired Brain Injury 101, and Awareness, Choices, and Education program has been one of her most valuable learning experiences.
Participating in these groups has taken her understanding of the intricacies of brain injury beyond the black and white of text book pages and coloured it with the real-life everyday experiences, struggles, triumphs and insights of individuals living with brain injury. She walked in to VBIS expecting to teach survivors what she knew about brain injury, and happily found that she herself would receive a vast education in an incredibly supportive community atmosphere. Her experiences at VBIS have been enriching in every way, and she has watched experiences at the society improve the everyday lives of many survivors.
Ruth has been volunteering with VBIS for several years. Not only does she work as our receptionist on a weekly basis, she also volunteers for our special events. Ruth has logged over 1500 hours with VBIS and is a very important part of our team.
Her involvement with VBIS began when Theresa Norris of VIHA’s Brain Injury Program suggested that she attend our family group. Ruth’s husband Bill had acquired a brain injury from a virus and as his caretaker, Ruth required some additional support. Despite Bill’s passing in May 2009, Ruth continues to give her time and feels it helps her give back for the support that was given to her.
During her time spent away from VBIS, Ruth enjoys knitting, spending time with her grandchildren and also loves to spend time playing “frontierville” on Facebook. Ruth is also actively involved with the Juan de Fuca Seniors Center.
Krissi has volunteered for Victoria Brain Injury Society for nearly two years and in that time she has seen the tremendous difference the society makes to survivors of brain injury and their families. She loves how everyone at the society - people using the services, board members, staff and volunteers - all work really hard to create a welcoming, friendly and healing atmosphere, which makes volunteering with VBIS a joy.
Linda has been enthusiastically answering phones and greeting members for the Victoria Brain Injury Society since 2009. Linda was born in Digny, England and came to Canada in 1972. She has two brothers, Kevin and David, and one sister, Janet.
Before her brain injury, Linda put herself through hair-dressing school. In 1984, she was struck by a vehicle as she crossed the street in Vancouver, which altered her life’s path. Linda struggled after her injury and, as a result, she found herself hired and fired from 12 positions.
After years of striving to understand her new self, Linda has certainly found her niche in volunteering. Linda and her mom Luchille accredit her wonderful physician for her growth and progression past the frustrations of her brain injury.
When she’s not greeting our members with her warm smile, Linda loves to be out in the sunshine nurturing her garden. During her time spent at home she enjoys needlepoint, reading and listening to classical music.