Troy describes himself as a people person, but he hasn’t always been that way. He says he used to be fairly shy, but that changed when he started volunteering at The North Grove.
Troy was at the opening of The North Grove’s Community Food Centre in 2015, and soon after he started attending the weekly Community Lunches. Each time he sat down for a meal he would meet new people. Then, he joined the Community Action Program, participating in a 12-week training session to become a Peer Advocate.
Now Troy is a regular at The North Grove. He’s attended countless programs and volunteers every Thursday prepping for Friday’s Good Food Market. Troy says he goes to The North Grove almost every day of the week, either to attend programs or volunteer – or sometimes just to visit!
“The people that go there are wonderful. It’s just like family,” says Troy. “It’s very comfortable to be there with everyone.”
Troy says it’s the little things that have made him feel so comfortable at The North Grove like people remembering his birthday every year.
“You’re always welcome and you’re always noticed. You’re never just a person there, you’re always somebody – somebody important,” says Troy.
During the pandemic, Troy felt the absence of the community he’d developed at The North Grove. Going there and seeing the other volunteers and staff had become a critical part of his routine.
“During the lockdowns when I couldn’t go to The North Grove, I felt like there was something missing,” says Troy. “It’s exciting to have everyone back and see all the people again.”
In the past four months, the volunteer base at The North Grove has more than doubled, increasing by more than 170%. In the first three and a half months of 2023, The North Grove’s volunteers have contributed 2,000 hours, which is already 70% of the hours worked in 2022!
Troy is thrilled that everyone is coming back together and says he’s been at The North Grove as much as possible!
Volunteers are the heart of The North Grove. Volunteers help to enhance and strengthen the programs we offer. Our volunteer program also helps individuals build their skills and confidence, as well as develop social connections and a sense of belonging in our community.