Mathew Ramsay (back row) of Vancity presents a $10,000 cheque to (from left) Karyn Santiago, Melissa , Donna Esau, George Jacob and Dana-Rae Pezzolesi of Communitas Supportive Care Society. (Communitas photo: Veronica Harms)

Vancity donates $10,000 to Communitas Supportive Care Society

Funds support Customer Service Training Program for Abbotsford agency

Communitas Supportive Care Society has received a $10,000 grant from Vancity’s Community Partnership Program.

The funds will support the Customer Service Training Program, which is part of Communitas Social Enterprises.

“Bringing together community partners with opportunities to support people in our communities is the aim of both Communitas and Vancity,” said Karyn Santiago, chief executive officer of Communitas.

“We are grateful to have partners who live out this goal.”

The training program is one of several that support people living with mental health challenges or intellectual disabilities who are looking to re-enter the workforce but may lack skills or work experience.

Melissa is currently enrolled as a trainee. She has a learning disability and lives with anxiety.

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She wasn’t sure if she would ever be able to work as a receptionist again. The customer service training has restored her confidence in herself and given her hope.

“Without this program, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to gain experience as a receptionist,” she said.

“The work experience has refreshed my skills and has taken away my fears. I feel confident enough in myself that I can say, yes, I can look for a job in this field and get the job.”

Vancity funds are provided to community groups through the credit union’s Shared Success program as a way of sharing profits with their members and investing in the broader community.

“In return, Communitas looks forward to sharing their own investments in building human capacity for people of all abilities,” Santiago said.

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