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Weyburn Wor-Kin Shop recovering from pandemic challenges

The Weyburn Wor-Kin Shop is recovering well from the challenges of COVID, supporters heard at its AGM.
Wor-Kin Shop board-3895-1
Members of the Weyburn Wor-Kin Shop board of directors gathered following their annual meeting on Monday evening. At left are Jenn Logel, Robin Williams and Deanna Miller-Jones, and at right are Gwen Wright, board chair Lloyd Montgomery and Marga Cugnet. Missing are Denise Guest and Laura Hamilton.

WEYBURN – The Weyburn Wor-Kin Shop went through some challenges during the COVID pandemic, but they are on the road to recovering and staying strong, board chair Lloyd Montgomery said at the group’s annual meeting on Monday evening.

He said as safety is always their top priority for their clients, they have been coming out of the COVID restrictions relatively slowly, but they have been able to maintain their programs and services going forward.

Maintaining good relationships with partners has been one of the keys to this, he added.

“The focus of the organization is to continue to have good relationships with our partners. I think we’ve continued down this path, and I appreciate those who are our partners, who’ve worked hard in that regard as well,” he said, noting their partnerships with Weyburn Group Homes, the ministry of Social Services and with the community.

In the annual report, they took note of a new collaboration with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, where the Wor-Kin Shop team helps to deliver palliative care equipment to families in the community.

In his report, executive director Jeff Richards noted that as the restrictions lift and a normal level of activities can resume, it is very much like starting his new job at the Wor-Kin Shop a second time, as the pandemic was just starting when he first joined.

One of the recent activities he did with the staff was to talk about the vision of the Wor-Kin Shop, as it states the organization believes in inclusion and equality.

“We drilled down on our vision, and asked, ‘what does inclusion mean? What does equality mean, when it impacts the people we serve, like the Group Homes Society? We take that stuff seriously,” said Richards.

He also noted that part of the stated values is to embrace and drive change, and they also had discussions around that, pointing out that the board has empowered him to invest in their people. This means, for example, if a staff member wants to pursue training for themselves or other staff, this will be provided.

One of the issues he and the board want to address is turnover of staff, as he pointed out that turning over three or four staff members a year can be very harsh on the other staff and on their clients.

“Relationships are important, that’s how we value our people,” he added.

In the financial report, the group was told that cash on hand increased by $52,000 from the previous year. There was a loss of about $20,000 on the year, but it was noted that $176,000 was from amortization, which is on the books, not a cash loss.

The wood shop had revenues of $101,392, and they had a gross profit of $13,791, which was close to the total of the year before.

The activity centre had revenues down by about $20,000, with an expense on the year of flooding from a burst pipe, and they received payment of $24,000 to help cover that expense.

The SARCAN depot had income of $443,882, and a profit of $29,774. They experienced the challenge of being overwhelmed when they reopened after the COVID lockdowns. In 2021-22, they processed eight million containers, as well as recycling 6,700 gallons of paint and 508 televisions and monitors.

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