Executive Director's Report

It is heartening to report that, despite significant funding cuts we continued to increase the number of people we serviced in 2010. In total we had 359,615 known service contacts. We recorded 10,611 direct service contacts and 2,181 participants in community events. Our online service is a significant source of contacts as our website traffic continued to be over 1.5 million. In 2010 there were more than 150,000 usages of the ConnectKW computers across the network of 21 sites we support.

We approached staffing our enquiry and resource centre differently by enlisting more volunteers and ensuring that all incoming staff and volunteers were trained in enquiry and able to share this responsibility. Not only have we gained a greater pool of staff to support this service but we have had additional benefits as all of our key players better understand the needs in the community.

To increase our efficiency, we provided more structured enquiry and resource training to support this larger pool of resource people. We opened discussions to determine the interest from other agencies to have this training provided to their reception and intake staff to build capacity more widely in the community. We are excited to be piloting this in 2011 with the Independent Living Centre.

Building on the success of the training done for ConnectKW, workshops were offered more regularly in 2010 for introductory and advanced computer and internet applications. We have found that seniors, newcomers and low income participants are the most frequent participants in these workshops as many find the emerging technology such as social media, to be intimidating. This type of entry level training is not offered elsewhere and is an important contribution to digital inclusion.

When asked, 'Do we really make a difference in this community?'; we can confidently answer YES!

Over the course of 2010, we obtained direct evaluation feedback from over 1,000 direct service contacts. We met the expectations for 99% of these contacts. Ninety-seven percent had more information after their contact with us and 99.7% said they would use the information we provided. Ninety-seven percent said they had more options for addressing their issue or problem. Almost 100% of all contacts would call or participate again. These are highly positive outcome measurements.

We know more advocacy is needed to support those who are vulnerable in our community and the community sector overall. We are well positioned to provide an independent voice. In 2010 we took further steps to strengthen our capacity to speak out on issues of concern for the community and the community sector points of view. We engaged newcomer women, those living in poverty, those affected by the digital divide, adults with disabilities and seniors aging into disabilities to find out about their issues and needs. There is much in common across all of these groups insofar as most people want to live in dignity and respect, to be involved in the community and to be able to take action to make positive social change. We will continue to support these groups so their voices are heard by decision makers.

In 2010 we bade farewell with great sadness to long time staff Margaret MacWhirter who retired and Susan Mainland who took on another career challenge. They have been missed.

I commend all of our staff, volunteers and board members for pitching in to make this year such a success. I am pleased to be working with dedicated and knowledgeable staff and volunteers and thank each and every one for the important contribution they make to the community through our work.

Respectfully submitted, Trudy Beaulne