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Alex Darling Work Anniversary: Six Years!

Congratulations Alex!

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?

Alex presenting Kaye Kwok with a volunteer leadership award

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?

Alex with colleagues Wendy and Rebecca, hanging out with the legendary John McKnight at TSI

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.

The 2018 Master Core Gift Facilitator Class!
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