Students can help seniors this summer

Ladysmith program connects young workers with senior citizens

It’s off to a bit of a late start, but the Students Helping Seniors Program in Ladysmith is getting underway.

The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) has finally received funding confirmation from Canada Summer Jobs, giving them the go-ahead to start the annual Students Helping Seniors Program, where local high school students gain valuable entry-level work experience by assisting Ladysmith seniors with odd jobs around the house, according to a press release from the LRCA.

Danielle Weir is co-ordinating the Students Helping Seniors program this year.

“She is a graduate of Ladysmith Secondary School and brings a personal understanding of the employment challenges facing youth in the Cowichan Valley,” states the release. “She will be going into her third year in the therapeutic recreation program at Douglas College in Coquitlam, and her experience working with seniors and youth in her course of studies makes her especially qualified for this job.”

For many of the youth who get involved in the program, it is their first work experience, according to the LRCA.

The program teaches youth basic skills in resumé writing and shows them what to expect in a job interview. Students can accept as much or as little work as they want.

Before starting, students must attend a mandatory orientation session where they are taught safe work practices, personal safety guidelines when working for strangers, and how to present themselves on a job.

“It gives them a taste of what  area employe expects,” states the LRCA. “They learn how to behave and communicate in a professional manner, and they get experience they can use to build their resumés.”

Last year, students assisted seniors with many activities. In return, the seniors paid them the minimum wage of $10.25 per hour.

Students who are interested in the program can find information on Craigslist and Kijiji, in the career centre at Ladysmith Secondary School or on Facebook by searching Students Helping Seniors. Students can also visit the LRCA at 630 Second Ave. or call 250-245-3079.