The Recreation Department is pleased to share another volunteer profile with you. Cheryl Lachambre is a Forever.. in Motion instructor from Pilot Butte. Cheryl, along with Gaye and Linda have been a huge factor in the growing number of participants in the Forever... in motion program. Here is Cheryl's story:
1. What does volunteering mean to me?
A. Giving back! It’s much easier to volunteer for something that you are passionate about. During my work life, I had many opportunities to volunteer – including Jeux Canada Games, United Way, and CIBC Run for the Cure. Outside work, there were our children’s activities and my town and church community.
B. Since retiring two years ago, I have volunteered with Skate Canada International, Diabetes Canada, Saskatchewan Fashion Week, and the Canadian Pacific Woman’s Open Golf Tournament. I learned so much about these events and truly enjoyed the people I met, and the volunteer experience I had with these organizations.
I have been physically active all of my life, and this is what led me to volunteering with Forever in Motion.
2. What inspired you to volunteer?
A. I heard about Forever in Motion (FIM) when I was taking my dad to a program for people who have difficulty breathing. The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region came in to talk to the group about Forever in Motion. Forever in Motion is an initiative that helps older adults become physically active through volunteer-led physical activity. The Health Region representative mentioned that they are always looking for volunteers to lead the program in Regina and in rural areas. I felt that this was something I could do, since I am retired. When I found that I was eligible to lead FIM, I was so excited that I shared it with a friend from White City, and we both took the training to help lead in our communities.
3. What is the most rewarding aspect of volunteering to you?
A. I am inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of those who come out to
Forever in Motion. We have participants from age 50 to 80+ in our program. I’ve had feedback from participants, saying that they feel better after exercising, and that they should have started years ago. Well, it’s never too late! The saying is; "bodies at rest, stay at rest, and bodies in motion, stay in motion.”
B. It’s also a time to get to know others and to socialize. Many go for coffee together afterwards, to the Blue Rooster Café. This is so awesome!
4. What advice could you offer to someone who might be thinking of volunteering?
A. The leader training program is well laid out; over four days and 20 hours. You don’t need a degree, or certification to lead. The exercises are tried and tested by older adults and we don’t deviate from the program provided – although we do make adjustments, if needed. We can adapt the program to challenge our participants, or offer modifications if the activity is too challenging.
B. Older adults feel better if they have a peer to lead them. We would love to have more males as participants or leaders. Anyone can do it!
5. What are you looking forward to in terms of future volunteering?
A. We hope to increase the numbers in FIM. We gave a short presentation at the
Golden Sunset Recreation Club, explaining the Forever in Motion (FIM) program, and demonstrated various exercises – including showing how they can be modified from easy to challenging.
B. It’s more fun to have a buddy or two to exercise with, so we encourage people to come out and give it a try, and you will feel awesome!
6. How long have you been volunteering?
A. It’s about one year since I took the FIM training. Last April, when I first heard about FIM, I was excited and interested to find out more. I met with the current lead for Pilot Butte, Gaye Kreklewich, and went to her class in both White City and Pilot Butte. Gaye leads Tuesdays out here and Thursdays in White City.
B. I encouraged my friend from White City, Calla-Dawn Brooks to take the training with me, and this has allowed us to add one more day in each community. Win/Win! Pilot Butte also has a substitute leader, Linda Bullock, who will fill in, when needed.
Being a ‘Forever in Motion’ volunteer has been a welcome addition to my life, and I hope I am making a difference in the lives of those who take part in the program.
What does volunteering mean to you?
MZ: To me volunteerism means doing things for community or others without expecting anything in return. I enjoy meeting different people and I like to be involved, it gives me a feeling of satisfaction and being able to offer any help or knowledge that I can.
What inspired you to volunteer?
MZ: When we moved here in 1981, I got involved to meet people in the community and church, I met some amazing people and I enjoyed doing whatever I got involved in; I enjoy a challenge. I also soon realized that without volunteers many activities and events could not happen as it is impossible to be able to pay for everything that requires people to help with.
What is the most rewarding aspect of volunteering to you?
MZ: To me the most rewarding part is giving back to this great community that we live in, so that we can continue to have the Rodeo, the senior centre, our church family. There are many other things happening here that I am not involved in but could not happen without the volunteers that they have. To me the greatest passion is the success of the Rodeo and striving to make it bigger and better. There are great volunteers on that committee, and on the days of the event many community volunteers come forward, I am sure we can make that event grow.
What are you looking forward to in terms of future volunteering?
MZ: I would like to be involved as long as my health and circumstances allow me to. I enjoy the commitments and purpose that volunteering brings to me, as well as all the great people that I get to work with.
How long have you been volunteering?
MZ: As I mentioned earlier I have been a volunteer in this community since 1981.