Kelsey earns volunteer of the year award

Penticton's Lynn Kelsey was honoured recently with a Volunteer of the Year Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Local volunteer Lynn Kelsey has earned recognition for her work with the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Local volunteer Lynn Kelsey has earned recognition for her work with the Canadian Diabetes Association.

It’s a long list of activities that led to Penticton’s Lynn Kelsey being honoured earlier this month with a Volunteer of the Year Award for the Interior Region of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Kelsey has volunteered for CDA for close to 15 years, providing diabetes education to public, corporate, and educational institutions.

“I will go speak to anyone who wants to listen to me,” said Kelsey.

One of the programs Kelsey teaches is Diabetes for Healthcare Professionals, and earlier this year, she worked with Sprott Shaw College to make the  program part of the core curriculum for their health care students.

“I did a train-the- trainer webinar for their health care instructors, so they now deliver that program in all of their campuses,” she said.

And in May, Kelsey helped organize the annual residential fundraising campaign for the CDA.

“I was the area leader for the South Okanagan, which meant I went from Summerland to Grand Forks,” said Kelsey, explaining how she worked with about 300 volunteers to canvass the large area.

“My love of doing it is that if I can make a difference in one life, it is worth it,” said Kelsey, who saw early on in her volunteer career how a small change can spread.

She was teaching in the Prince George area at the time, delivering a one-hour basic diabetes education course, covering basic questions like what is diabetes, and how to live with it.

One student, decided he needed to be tested after realizing how many diabetes risk factors he showed: over 40, First Nations descent, overweight and both his brothers had diabetes.

He found out he had Type 2 Diabetes, but because of that one-hour workshop, he told her, he wasn’t as scared as he might have been.

“He made a huge change and got more exercise, lost weight, got his blood sugar down to a healthy level,” said Kelsey.

His two brothers, already showing signs of complications, decided to improve their lifestyles as well.

“One of them  was elected chief, and he brought changes to the whole band,” said Kelsey. “One one-hour information session, made an impact in a community.

“I had been teaching for them for about seven years when I was diagnosed myself,” said Kelsey.

“Then it had more of a personal feel to it. I continued to teach in the communities.”

Diabetes advocacy is far from Kelsey’s only interest. She has volunteered with political campaigns, helped with the Christmas shoebox campaign, volunteers through her church, works with  patients with chronic conditions, helps out at South Okanagan Women in Need (where she also works full-time as a support worker) and even found time to run for city council herself.

“Because I work for SOWINS, I also do a lot of work for them, as the opportunities come up,” she said. “I am very passionate about women’s issues.”

Passion is a key factor driving Kelsey to volunteer in so many ways.

Being a well-rounded volunteer, she said, comes from trying to be a well-rounded person and not being so focused on any one thing she doesn’t see needs in other places.

“If you want something done, ask a busy person,” joked Kelsey. “When I am passionate about something, it is not a chore to give that time.”

Kelsey doesn’t expect retirement to slow down her volunteer efforts.

“It will just give me more time to give back,” she said. “We never know what one thing we have done for somebody that has changed a life.”

 

Just Posted

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

A portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail near Naramata will be closed temporarily for upgrade work, including paving. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Upgrades plannned for trail near Naramata

Surface improvement work will mean temporary trail closure

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Skaha Bluffs climbing spots. (Monique Tamminga)
New parking lot and picnic area coming to Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs

The city will turn the access point at Crow Place into a parking and picnic area

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Vernon Courthouse. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Sentencing delayed in North Okanagan child pornography case

Man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography will have new sentence date fixed next week

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Phil McLachlan/(Black Press Media
Man shot at Kamloops shopping centre

The man is believed to be in stable condition

Most Read