When Barbara attended a community meeting over 10 years ago, she may not have realized the important impact and role it would lead to as a Driver for our agency. She belongs to a select few volunteers who’ve remained dedicated over the years as the staff and even the offices have changed. Born and raised in Montreal, living in Vancouver, we’re happy she’s chosen our neighbourhood in Toronto to call home.
She wasn’t always a driver however. Her first experience was as a Friendly Visitor helping to address the social isolation of older individuals who were looking for real people to connect with outside their homes. Although she dedicates her vehicle and time as a driver, you’ll still find Barbara filling in as a runner and making those one to one connections with our clients.
Her favourite moments from her experiences are the wonderful people she meets here. From conversations with her fellow volunteer team in the mornings to meeting and working with the many different runners who pair up with her to deliver the hot meals. Although she’s seen many of the staff come and go over the years, she has good memories of working alongside them.
One particular story she recounts is delivering a meal to a house close to her own home. Although she didn’t recognize the woman who answered the door at first, on closer inspection she realized it was an individual she knew and remembered as being active and about every day. She had not seen the woman in several months and it provided her a glimpse into a life of someone who ended up relying on social support services such as Meals on Wheels. Aside from knowing that change can come to anyone, it also brings to mind that aging can be a lonely process without support.
When Barbara isn’t volunteering she’s acting and has been for over 40 years. Whether it’s on stage or in film, you’ll find she has a long list of credits. Empire of the Dirt opened in November in which she plays Mrs. Armstrong and you’ll also see her on a CBC miniseries early next year called The Best Laid Plans in which she plays Muriel. She also likes to garden, travel, cross country ski, snow shoeing and hiking. She has two children, Dougal and Melody and her husband Doug.
Barbara hopes to always be part of the ongoing Silver Circle team and we’d like to thank her for the many years of time and energy she’s put into our agency and helping people in the community. Thank you Barbara!