We thank you for joining us at our 2021 Annual General Meeting on January 30. While we had to hold this event virtually, it was a pleasure to gather together to celebrate the contribution of not-for-profits, societies, co-ops and those who volunteer their time each year. Given the current circumstances with COVID-19 health and safety regulations  and province-wide restrictions, we are fortunate to live in a beautiful city in a spectacular province.  And we have much to celebrate in the Victoria Health Co-op, and some questions for you, whether or not you are members. 

As we highlighted at our AGM, in 2020 we worked hard at adapting to COVID, establishing our partnership with the Cook Street Village Activity Centre and delivering programs, projects and activities.  But probably our most important work has been in planning for the VHC after COVID. 

The focus of the Victoria Community Health Co-op continues to be on the promotion of health and wellbeing as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO):

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  The WHO conceptualises health as a human right requiring physical and social resources to achieve and maintain. ‘Wellbeing’ refers to a positive rather than neutral state, framing health as a positive aspiration.  

We would like to see everyone in Victoria enjoying a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.  We feel this is a more constructive approach than waiting until people are injured or ill, and then providing treatment that can be expensive, and not exactly pleasant! In short, our programs and services focus on the promotion of health and the prevention of illness.

Our Work Plan

We have already begun applying for funding this year and will be working closely with our new Board and volunteers to submit more as the usual grant applications open or new opportunities arise.

We are offering bi-monthly, 1-hour virtual No-Touch Wellbeing Sessions – check our website or Facebook page for upcoming dates. Join us every fourth Tuesday evening (7pm) and fourth Sunday afternoon (1pm) each month. You can participate by phone, laptop, or tablet via Zoom! These sessions are open to everyone and encourage you to explore new wellness practices, modalities, and communities that aim to improve our wellbeing holistically and through group education.

Meet Co-op Members and friends of the VHC who will share brief introductions to useful information on a range of health and wellness topics and practices and will be available for questions and general discussion.

Primary Medical Care

Many of you know that we submitted a proposal several years ago for funding for a Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse or Medical Office Assistant, plus rent, equipment, etc. Many of you are on the “I want a Nurse Practitioner” list.  We received one third of the funding we requested, which was not enough to attract available applicants, but we are very happy to let you know that there is progress in all of these areas, space, funding, and a partnership to provide services. Working on this project will continue to be a major focus in 2021.

We want to acknowledge the outstanding support of the Nurse project leads, retired RN Doreen McBride and retired MD Garth McBride.  Their guidance has been unparalleled.  Thank you.

To carry out and support all of this work we need people, a physical home, and funding.

People – we have a group of outstanding volunteers and are inviting others to participate in Board meetings or join any Committee throughout the year.   Please let us have your name and email to add to our Constant Contact, and, or, www.victoriahealthcooperative.ca to stay up to date.   To support the VHC, click and donate on https://wellnesscharity.ca/  and receive a Charitable Donation Receipt from the Creating Community Wellness Society.

Physical home – there is progress, watch the website.

We are very, very happy to let you know that we now see the light at the end of the tunnel in all of these areas, space, funding, and a partnership to provide services.  

Volunteering Helps

New volunteers would be joining a wonderful group of board members and other volunteers, receive good training to develop their skills, and a very warm welcome!  By growing our team of volunteers we can reduce the amount of work for each of us and benefit from shared ideas and skills, and make strong connections in our community. 

We invite you to consider, and take action, on one of the following: 

  • Join the Victoria Community Health Co-operative to support our projects and develop our membership offerings. 
  • Volunteer for one of our current projects or programs.  Email any project or program leader at vichealthcoop@gmail.com stating your interest.
  • Initiate a new project, program, or partnership in our community.
  • Volunteer for any of the following roles: Relief Treasurer, Grant Application Writer,  Fundraiser, Assistant Secretary, Membership Secretary, Partnerships developer, Co-op Sector relationships, Health and Wellness Advisory Committee.
  • Helping with governance, human resources, fundraising, communications and event planning.
  • Occasional help with phone calls, filing, and meeting and event preparation.
  • Remember to pay your annual dues of $35, and possibly sponsor a student member.
  • Make a financial donation to the Creating Community Wellness Society for which you will receive a charitable donation receipt to submit with your tax return.  Drop off a cheque at Unit 1, 380 Cook St, Victoria V8V 3X7 or make an electronic transfer to the Victoria Health Co-op or the Creating Community Wellness Society account at Vancity Credit Union.

Wellness and health matter.  Will you help us reach more people in our community?  For more information, please contact Vanessa at vichealthcoop@gmail.com or 250 415 9272. Please plan to attend our events, say hello and connect with new people. Our Board members are happy to answer questions and receive new ideas – we welcome discussion in person or over email. 

Yours Co-operatively,

Vanessa Hammond, Chair 

Victoria Health Co-operative