Anecdotal evidence suggests there is a lack of unity and sense of community solidarity within the English-speaking community when compared to previous years. The elderly state that the community is not as giving nor is it as active as it was in the past. With the rise of satellite television, internet and other modern technologies, encouraging community involvement has been a huge challenge for all community organizations working for the ESC of the Islands. Community organizations within the Islands’ English speaking community are facing a volunteer shortage across all sectors. There is an aging volunteer base and a reluctance of youth and younger volunteers to get involved, leading to what is referred to as volunteer “burn-out”. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to find board and committee members and volunteers to assist with community activities. Because of this evidence, lack of community engagement has been identified as a key issue to be addressed within CAMI’s five year Strategic Plan.
In response to this ever-increasing issue, CAMI, in collaboration with its local partners, have developed a Community Engagement Committee. This committee is composed of representatives from the MI CEDEC, CAMI, GI School, the Municipality of Grosse Ile, Centre d’action Benevole and the Anglican Parish. This Committee meets to reflect on the current situation surrounding volunteerism and to develop sustainable strategies to address this issue. To date, the committee has developed a Community Engagement Strategy which includes various activities geared towards increasing volunteerism and community participation. Some of these strategies have already been implemented, including:
The Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition Brunch
The Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition Newsletter
Volunteer of the Year Award
The C.O.O.L Facebook page
The Great Intergenerational Get Together
CAMI in collaboration with its community partners will continue to encourage and increase community involvement across sectors, fostering a united and cohesive community built on integrity, respect and pride.