News

NACL staff event highlights agency's history

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

Beth Hendershot and Cody Smith cross the finish line at the Norfolk Association for Community Living's Amazing Race competition May 11. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

Beth Hendershot and Cody Smith cross the finish line at the Norfolk Association for Community Living's Amazing Race competition May 11. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

SIMCOE - 

In celebration of its 65th anniversary, the Norfolk Association for Community Living gave its workers something amazing.

A total of 24 frontline staff took to the streets of Simcoe May 11 for an Amazing Race style competition that combined team-building activities with facts/locations/employees from the past six and a half decades.

They visited past homes such as the former Lions School and Rosewood Senior Living, chatted with longtime users of the agency and even sang karaoke.

Throughout their travels the teams were challenged to raise funds to be donated to the United Way -- they accumulated over $2,700.

“It was a really good experience,” said Beth Hendershot, who has worked as a councillor in Waterford for the past 18 months. “I actually learned quite a bit today with the help of my teammates with everything we did around town and it brought a lot of enlightenment to everything the agency has done.”

Currently, NACL provides residential support to more than 80 people and career support to 170 community members with developmental disabilities.

Some taking part in Friday's festivities had been with NACL for a short time while others, like Delhi's Nathan Cann, have double-digit years of service under their belt.

“I really just love my job and supporting individuals, bettering the quality of their lives and allowing them to be themselves,” he said. “We help them feel included in the community and make connections to the community.”

Nunn started with NACL back in 2004 and relished in Friday's history component – staff went so far as to display dozens of articles and photos chronicling NACL's past at its headquarters on Ireland Road.

“It's a pretty big deal considering where these people came from 65 years ago,” he said of the clients. “A lot of them are still with us now and they came to us when they were kids... to see where they are today and to see how far they've come since I've been working is really a blessing.”

For as much as the past was highlighted on the day, the future was also a focus. A 'service collaboration day', as it was officially titled, brought together employees who may not congregate otherwise.

“It's fantastic because a lot of the times you don't meet a lot of the people that work within the agency because you're just at your base location,” Hendershot said. “So to be able to come together and get to know some of the other people is a really good opportunity.”

NACL will host its annual friends and family picnic on July 8. More information can be found online at nacl.ca.

jrobinson@postmedia.com