Quality in human services has a direct correlation to quality humans delivering those services, and experienced, committed staff who stay in their jobs over the long term are critical to a strong workplace culture. They serve as mentors to new staff, and establish a consistent trusted presence with individuals supported by LiveWorkPlay and their families.
We are now sharing a bit more about our staff team on their annual workplace anniversaries. Join us in celebrating an October 15th work anniversary for Alex Darling! To help get to know her a little better, here are some questions and answers about Alex.
What is a favorite memory of your most recent year at LiveWorkPlay?
As the People Connector and Volunteer Coordinator at LiveWorkPlay, usually I’m just involved with organizing and on-call in case someone needs help, but I sometimes join in the Friday night meet-ups myself, and in the summer I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, and we all had a blast.
More broadly and more routine to my work, I have a lot of great memories from hearing updates about matches – that’s when we bring someone from the community together with a personal with an intellectual disability over a mutual interest, and they spend time together to see if a friendship can develop. It’s exciting if things go well early on, but the best news is when the relationship has been developing for a year or more and I hear about how they have helped each other or tried something new together. I don’t think it’s well understood how reciprocal these relationships can be and how often I hear from a community match that they have learned new things and grown as a person because of the relationship.
What is a favorite memory of your time at LiveWorkPlay over the past six years?
Definitely the opportunity to celebrate our volunteers annually at Make A Buzz Ottawa, our recognition banquet. They are a very modest group and really don’t ask or want much from me or LiveWorkPlay in terms of recognition, so I love being able to celebrate them and show our appreciation and gratitude in front of the community in the room as well as online. Each year I help select a small group volunteers for various awards, but everyone understands that they are representatives of the entire volunteer team that are working towards a more inclusive community, and that they are a part of something that is bigger than any one person.
What are you looking forward to in the future at LiveWorkPlay?
The opportunity to continue to learn. I think 2017-2018 provided more professional development opportunities than I’ve ever had before, including the Toronto Summer Institute and recently completing the Master Core Gift Facilitator training. I appreciate these formal learning opportunities, but I also learn a lot from informal learning exchanges with other organizations, and it’s not just in our immediate field, I learn so much from all sorts of different people and organizations – anything from nonprofit housing to recreation, arts, music, and more.
Last but not least, what do others have to say about Alex?
Alex is the first person a lot of people meet when they first come to LiveWorkPlay or soon after, and that’s great because she’s such a natural at welcoming people and being a great listener.
She’s not loud but she’s strong, a great person to have on the other end of the phone with someone who is upset and needs a calm voice.
Alex is always thinking about how to solve a problem and is always connecting with the members, volunteers, staff, and families to share ideas.