Marsh Stevens (left) receives a $7,500 donation from The Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Oyster Bay presented by Chad Toronchuk and Microtel staff (Submitted photo)

LRCA Volunteer Counselling Program receives $7,500 boost from Oyster Bay Microtel

The Microtel raised funds through the MasterBUILT Common Ground program

The Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Oyster Bay has donated $7,500 to help support the LRCA’s Volunteer Counselling Program.

Funds were raised by the Common Ground program, a charitable initiative across all MasterBUILT hotel properties. Common Ground collects financial contributions through an optional room charge of $2 per night. Those contributions get divided and distributed to national, provincial, and local charities.

RELATED: Oyster Bay Microtel solidifies reputation as a Vancouver Island destination

Microtel general manager Chad Toronchuk said that the LRCA Volunteer Counselling Program was chosen because its one that hits close to home for staff and the community.

“There was a need there. In talking with our team at the Microtel, several of our team members either themselves struggle with mental health, or they have family members who do. This resource from the LRCA that provides a free counselling service was really something that everyone on our team saw a lot of value in supporting,” he said.

LRCA executive director, Marsh Stevens said that there has been an increase in clients accessing the Volunteer Counselling Program since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, however the program was used frequently prior to the pandemic.

RELATED: ‘It lifts the spirits’, LRCA Senior’s Coordinator encourages community to check in with seniors

Since the counselling program is free for clients, Stevens said the $7,500 donation from the Microtel makes a huge difference.

“It means so much to us… this program has high value, and the costs are so low, but it’s often a very difficult program to find funding for or fundraise for,” Stevens said.

The Volunteer Counselling Program is overseen by a certified clinical counsellor who runs a team of volunteer counsellors. Currently, there are four counsellors in the program with past professional experience in mental health.

There is still a need for direct donations to suppport the Volunteer Counselling Program, and the 17 other community programs offered by the LRCA.

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