Three central Albertans have received awards for their work supporting people impacted by domestic violence and bullying.
The Central Alberta Domestic and Relationship Violence Committee hosted its annual Front Line Service Providers’ Awards Luncheon on Wednesday.
Kathy Cave, who works with Julietta’s Place (a housing option for women and children fleeing domestic violence) and leads the Red Deer Housing Team at the Women’s Outreach Centre, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I’m very honoured; actually, speechless,” said Cave, who has worked in the Red Deer community for seven years.
“I did not expect this at all – I didn’t. I drive to work every day from Lacombe and I’m fortunate enough to work alongside (my co-workers) and the clients.
“Everyone has a story and that’s really important to me. With the homeless, addiction, mental health population, housing is a right, it’s not a privilege. That’s my passion.”
Damian Bottrell and Cheryl Borton received the Front Line Service Providers’ Award at the event.
Bottrell said he was “shocked” to be recognized.
“It’s something I did not expect. I just left a class at RDC this morning and came right here. I was a little bit late. I was not expecting it at all,” he said.
Bottrell is a case manager with the Red Deer Housing Team at the Women’s Outreach Centre, a facilitator with the domestic violence men’s group and a facilitator with the safe visitation and monitored exchange.
“I’m very grateful to work with the people I support in the community, whether that’s families or men, women and children affected by domestic violence,” he said.
Borton, a direct client worker at Sylvan Lake and District Victim Services unit, said she was honoured to receive the award Wednesday.
“When you do this type of work, you’re recognized every day by the people who offer the opportunity for us to work with them and to honour their stories and create options for them,” said Borton.
Women’s Outreach Centre executive director Barb Barber said front line service workers are “a very dedicated group.”
“For a lot of people, this is more than just a job, this is a passion. They care very deeply for … everyone they work with and they can’t just leave it at work. It goes home with them and gets so embedded in them,” said Barber.
Everyone in the community has to play a part in ending domestic violence, said Barber.
“Whether you know somebody who’s been affected or not, if each one of us does something to disrupt family violence, that’s when we’ll start making a difference.
“Volunteering your time, your resources, caring about your neighbour, asking your neighbour if they’re OK. Those are the things that are going to disrupt it,” she said.