In recognition to Volunteer Week 2021, CPD is pleased to highlight Volunteers who have showed tremendous support and contribution to our mission.
Volunteer Deliver Comfort – Christel Galachiuk
Christel has been a volunteer with CPD since July 2018 and has tirelessly lent her time and personal insight to many activities. Along with her service dog Nixie, Christel has been a major asset for the Time In My Shoes program as part of the vision team.
In 2020, Christel joined the AdHok Transit committee to help with some of the sweeping changes involved with the restructuring of City Transit in the effort to make sure accessibility was being addressed with all the changes. In 2021, Christel was part of the Community Outreach Program developed by CPD and reached out to many community members living with disabilities and in isolation during the Pandemic.
Her cheerful demeanour and helpful tips ensured that our accessibility community knew that they were not alone and not forgotten during these difficult times. She also belongs to the Canadian Council of the Blind and runs a book club called Book Worms, and volunteers to teach iPhone accessibility to other people with no vision.
Christel is a nurturing individual and we are proud to recognize her during National Volunteer Week.
Volunteer Inspire Creativity – Sioux Lily
Sioux Lily is an incredibly gifted artist and she was recommended to CPD as a volunteer after she won the Peterborough Photography contest in December of 2016.
Sioux helped develop the Hearing Program for Time In My Shoes program, became a member of the Community Accessibility Evaluation Program Team, and joined the Board of directors serving as a director and secretary.
Sioux became energized by her involvement with CPD and branched out to the Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Built Environment Committee for the city. She also became very involved in the Arts community helping with accessible arts presentations all across including the arts week post code tour Peterborough in 2020.
Sioux hosts a Facebook page called accessibility advocate and provides all kinds of resources and info about accessibility-related topics to her followers.
Sioux’s most recent contribution to CPD was a sound file that helped create a new simulation tool for our Inclusion program simulating the kinds of distractions a person with Autism or other invisible disability may experience day to day.
Sioux is a CPD superstar, and we are pleased to recognize her during National Accessibility Week.
Volunteer Keep Us Safe – Jason Johnston
Jason Johnston joined CPD in March 2018 and quickly became a staple in the Time In My Shoes Vision program along with his service dog Zeba. He is always excited to lend a hand for TIMS programs and is looking forward to more presentations in the future once the pandemic settles.
Jason tragically lost his brother early in 2021 when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing George Street and now Jason is working hard to ensure that the pedestrian crosswalk by the Holiday Inn is safe for everyone to use.
The crosswalk is a new feature to the area, but doesn’t have audible signals. It is Jason’s mission to make this crosswalk safe in his brother’s memory, and to increase accessibility for our community. Currently Jason is designing a petition he hopes the community will support and he plans to launch this petition on his brother’s memorial website in the near future.
Jason continues to volunteer with CPD and looks forward to more Time In My Shoes program presentations. He is an inspiration for all of us and we hope his mission for an audible signal is successful.
Volunteer Lead Movements – Maureen Callery
Maureen Callery has volunteered with CPD since 2016 and lends support to all of CPD’s projects. She assists with transportation of equipment to program delivery sites, printing written materials, and with other tasks in support of our various programs.
In 2017, CPD and Junior Achievement worked together to create a set of raised accessible gardens. These raised boxes allowed persons with mobility challenges to enjoy the outdoors and take part in gardening. Maureen supervised students, and assisted persons with challenges as they took care of the various vegetables and herbs grown in the community gardens.
She tirelessly oversees all aspects of the garden, from planting to harvesting , and all the product grown is sold locally to help support the community garden project.
Maureen is always happy to help with any project, and we appreciate all the time and effort she lends us at CPD.
Volunteer Share Skills – Daniel Lombardi
Daniel Lombardi has been a volunteer with CPD since 2012. He has also been involved with Heads-up for Inclusion and is a past president for People First Peterborough.
Daniel has been an integral part of all of the Time In My Shoes programs including Vision, Mobility, Hearing and Inclusion. He is one of the very few volunteers with the lived experience to facilitate all four programs. He also volunteers for other CPD programs when time allows, but he spreads himself out between other volunteering and his work with Partners 4 Planning.
Daniel is currently helping to gather up various resources to help create a database of resources for anyone with challenges. Anyone will be able to visit this website and find assistance in their home area for any number of needs. Currently P4P covers the province of Ontario and the resources are growing. It is hoped that the P4P group will be able to expand and include resources all across Canada in the future.
Daniel is another CPD superstar. His confidence, charisma and humour make all of our programs memorable.
Volunteer Right Wrongs – Tessa Smith
Tessa Smith joined CPD in August 2018 and quickly became a powerhouse presenter for the Mobility program of Tims. She also lends her time and experience to other CPD programs like the Pulse Showcasing Accessible Sports.
Tessa was the poster girl for the Terry Fox run in 2016 and as an ambassador for that group, she traveled across Ontario telling her story to schools encouraging students to be more inclusive and to take part in the annual run. As a Trent student, Tessa was a leader and facilitator for the Brave Space event held during activity week which was designed for students who identify as part of the LGBTQ community and who also identify as living with a challenge.
As a student governor, Tessa developed an accessibility tour of the campus for the Dean and other board members, and developed an accessibility scavenger hunt that showcased many challenges the Trent campus has for disabled students and staff. These tools are still being used to help create better accessibility.
Tessa is currently working on the creation of a podcast which will address topics including racism, LGBTQ, and accessibility.
Tessa plans to continue her work in accessibility and looks forward to helping out with many CPD projects to come!
Volunteer Strengthen Communities – Mark Balkwill
Mark Balkwill joined CPD in July 2017, and from the first day he started advocating for CPD to find ways to partner with many more organizations and services to spread the word about accessibility and inclusion.
Mark is one of the facilitators for hearing team for Time In My Shoes Program and also sits on the Board as a Director. Mark was also very much involved with the rebranding of Peterborough Community Support Services to Array Services which is now a part of Ontario Deaf Blind Services.
Mark recently agreed to chair CPD’s new Umbrella Group. This group is made up of various organizations, services and businesses who have an interest in accessibility, inclusion poverty and community betterment. It is the hope of this group to work together to create a more accessible and inclusive community for everyone. Many voices are better heard.
CPD is lucky to have Mark as part of our team. His dedication and drive help keeping CPD moving forward and ensuring we achieve our goal of access and inclusion for everyone.