Hearts of the Community: Young volunteer devoted to assisting seniors

Volunteering with seniors, at the Saanich Fair, at her school — you name it and Melissa Rickson has probably given her time to it

Grade 12 Parkland Secondary School student Melissa Rickson was recognized for her dedication to the community with a Hearts of the Community Award this week.

Volunteering with seniors, at the Saanich Fair, at her school — you name it and Melissa Rickson has probably given her time to it.

The Grade 12 Parkland Secondary student is involved with several organizations but namely Resthaven Lodge where she has spent time assisting residents in different ways since 2008.

“Most of the people who live here have some level of dementia, which requires patience, understanding, acceptance and adaptability to ensure their well-being. While many adults are uncomfortable conversing with with some of our residents, Melissa has a gift for being able to converse freely with them,” explained Myrna Fox, the activity and volunteer coordinator at Resthaven.

Shortly after she began visiting residents at Resthaven, Rickson started serving refreshments, assisting residents with games and activities, calling Bingo and helping out residents and staff during outings to events like the Model Airplane Show and the P.A.T.S Picnic in the Park.

“Melissa accepts the residents’ limitations while encouraging their ability to play games, which increases their self-esteem,” Fox said.

“She even came up with two of her own games for the residents to play. It was amazing to see how the residents responded and she amazed the staff with the effort and thought put into her projects.”

At Parkland, Rickson gives her time to Student Council, the Parkland Green Team, the Interact Club and the Vital Youth Philanthropic Group.

“Melissa is always willing to help out with school events that need student involvement and she clearly values her school community. She is actively involved in making sure that the community remains a healthy and vibrant one,” said Parkland French teacher, Ann McLean of Rickson.

Rickson said she enjoys volunteering at Resthaven Lodge because she gets to interact with the residents.

“I love hearing about the history of the residents and the full lives they have lived,” she said.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to validate the residents’ feelings and I always leave with a smile.”

Rickson has future plans to become a teacher and is currently volunteering and job shadowing at both Sidney Elementary school (in a Grade 2/3 math class) and at North Saanich Middle School (in a Grade 6, 7 and 8 French classroom).

“Melissa would bring enthusiasm, passion and joy to the learning environment of future students,” said McLean.

 

Just Posted

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Local leaders of all ages honoured at National Philanthropy Day event

Awards in six categories given to Victoria residents who are leaders in giving back

MLA invites community to weigh in on transportation issues in Sidney

Adam Olsen invites Peninsula residents to share questions, concerns at Nov. 24 gathering

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read