AIDS Vancouver Island seeking donations and volunteers for expanded programming

Claire Dineen, Health Promotion Educator

AIDS Vancouver Island

Wednesday, January 21 2015

AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) has been serving those infected and affected by HIV/Hepatitis C on Vancouver Island for over 25 years, and currently has offices in Victoria, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Campbell River and Port Hardy. 

More than a decade ago, the Nanaimo office opened a health centre staffed by three physicians, a nurse and a counsellor as our harm reduction initiative for this area. 

The clinic offers treatment for opioid addiction with the Methadone Maintenance Program of BC. We also provide HIV primary care and Hepatitis C assessment and referral for treatment.

In November, AVI’s health promotion and counselling departments and the health centre amalgamated into one office. Given our increased space we have the ability to offer some programs to all our clients (folks with addictions and mental health issues, HIV and/or Hepatitis C), which could include a games afternoon and a drop-in art group. 

We’d like to provide a safe space where our clients can participate in recreational activities and perhaps address some of their issues in a non-threatening setting. 

We are looking for donations of the following: games, puzzles, art supplies (pencil crayons, art paper, collage stuff, beads, jewelry-making supplies, etc.). We are also interested in talking to people who’d like to volunteer with our clients (e.g. a one-off workshop or on an ongoing basis). Historically, in our Street Outreach Program in Victoria, we hosted a wide range of programs: art therapy, acupuncture, naturopathy, Reiki, belly dancing, law clinic, etc. We’re open to working with community members to provide services to folks who don’t have access to them. 

For more information, to volunteer, or to donate, please contact Claire Dineen, Health Promotion Educator, AVI at skullgrrrl@shaw.ca or 247-7629.