Workshop aims to connect Saanich community groups

The Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee wants to strengthen ties and boot membership of community groups, while equipping organizations with the the practical skills to make it all happen. That’s the thrust behind the Connected Communities Workshop, a free event aimed at supporting Saanich associations and non-profit groups of all kinds.

“It’s a lively discussion about how to engage with community and how to build on your existing membership,” said Dean Murdock, committee chair.

“It’s a key priority for Saanich, too,” Murdock said. “Reaching out to community and finding new ways to engage with residents is something that’s in the Saanich strategic plan.”

Guest speakers include Christina Peacock (food security and poverty issues), Lisa Helps (micro lending and reducing local poverty) and Saanich Youth Council (roundtable, youth engagement). Talks will move beyond the theoretical to share specific ideas with community groups, including, for example, use of social networking.

“The highlight for the morning will be breaking into smaller groups where those representatives from each organization can share what their organization does.”

Murdock’s goal is to see participants create an engagement action plan, based on the morning’s discussions.

“It’s not about inspiring the reps… it’s about sharing best practises to give some fresh ideas and hopefully breathe some life into associations that are really struggling for members.”

The Connected Communities Workshop includes complimentary coffee and runs from 9 a.m. to noon, May 14 at Royal Oak middle school, 4564 West Saanich Rd. All interested community members are welcome, room permitting. Contact 250-475-5412 or to register.