Robson Valley Support Society becomes Robson Valley Community Services

Dianne St. Jean
The professional staff at Robson Valley Community Services serve the entire Robson Valley and Canoe Valley communities.
The professional staff at Robson Valley Community Services serve the entire Robson Valley and Canoe Valley communities.
Submitted photo

Change comes in response to growing community outreach

Since 1980 the Robson Valley Support Society (RVSS) has served valley residents. Recently, however, a decision was made to rebrand and change the name. RVSS has now become Robson Valley Community Services (RVCS).

The change was formally introduced to the community with an open house celebration last month attended by directors and staff as well as government representatives.

According to Lina Thompson, Executive Director, one of the main incentives for making the change comes from their continuing growth in meeting community needs within the valley. It was therefore important to include the word “Community” in that change.

“We are here to help those folks who are in crisis and require intensive support,” says Thompson, “but we are also here to assist community needs on a larger scale. We offer services that cater to community members age 0-99. In 2017, we supported over 2400 people living in the Robson Valley Region. Also by changing our name, we can apply to the BC Federation of Community Services.”

Here are some things that perhaps you may not know about RVCS. They offer the following services: Infant Development, Supportive Child Development, Child & Youth Mental Health, Family Support, WorkBC (McBride only), Community Outreach Worker (Valemount only), Better at Home for Seniors, Police Based Victim Services, PEACE Counsellor (formally Children Who Witness Abuse), Stopping the Violence-Outreach, Family Literacy (McBride only), Safe Shelter (including a 24 hour worker).

The organization, which is non-profit and a registered charity, is also fully unionized and employs 21 staff, with two more to be added by the end of October. They serve the entire Robson Valley and Canoe Valley (644 km). Their primary offices are in McBride and Valemount; however, they do also offer outreach and virtual services to all communities in the Robson Valley region. They are also currently working towards International CARF accreditation.

The change comes with a new Board Chair/President, Hollie Blanchette (Valemount) and new Vice-President Tanya Rich (McBride).

“It’s an exciting time for us and we are looking forward to growing and meeting the needs of all community partners,” says Thompson.

“If anyone is wanting to partner with us, I would be more than happy to make time to meet. They can contact me at ed@rvcsbc.org. We also offer taxable donation receipts for community partners wanting to help keep programs going; donations can be given to any program area the donor wishes. We are also happy to have volunteers in our Better at Home Program.”

To view an excellent YouTube video on the RVCS (created by Malcolm Dean) visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKk8XvZW3WU&t=17s.