Hope Blooms in Tumbler Ridge

Lynsey Kitching

Much like how flower bulbs push their way through the dark soil reaching for the light, those in need of support reach for hope.

In recognition of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (NVCAW), Joanne McBain, Program Manager for Tumbler Ridge RCMP Victim Services has created the Hope Blooms campaign here in town which will run from April 21 to April 27.

McBain says, “Right elements in place, water, soil and sunlight you can break through that darkness and into the light. Just to give people hope that they can break beyond the realm they are in, and to let them know there are services out there that can help them if they choose to.”

The kits, which are being assembled by community volunteers, consist of a flower pot, soil, a lily and a brochure.

“We are going to be out and about in the community, meeting and greeting and handing out kits. We applied from 1,000 kits, and we are assembling them here in Tumbler. A third of them are going to go out to Chetwynd already made up and a third of them to Dawson.”

The kits will be distributed throughout the NVCAW.

McBain explains what victim services entails, “It is a free service, and anyone can make a referral to the agency. We provide practical and emotional support, for example, if someone has lost someone we can connect them with some grief support, or if anyone is thinking about leaving, our services are confidential, up until it is a criminal nature because we are a police based organization and we would have to let the police know. If someone is planning on leaving a domestic situation we can help them plan and set up a safety plan, things of that nature.”

By referral McBain means that someone who knows of someone else in need of help can also contact Victim Services and let them know their concerns, however the worried party would have to provide their name.

McBain would like people to know that help is out there. She says, “There is a safe home available in town. For a small community we have a great support network in place and it is free. We can help people get outta Dodge and to a safe place.”

The Hope Blooms campaign is accompanied by a sentiment, which reads:

“Like the flower bulb that’s buried deep in darkness striving to move beyond its environment… From that dark and cold place it breaks through the soil barrier and into the light. With the right elements in place: soil, water and sunlight, it can bloom. There is help. There are options. There is hope. And hope blooms. We all have a role.”

The RCMP Victim Services team will be appearing before council on April 16 requesting Tumbler Ridge to acknowledge National Victims of Crime Awareness Week by way of proclamation.

McBain says, “We will be presenting Mayor and Council with a gift of ten ‘Tiny Dyno’ Asiatic lily bulbs to be planted in the spring, at a location of their choosing.”

Nation Victims of Crime Awareness Week was introduced by the federal government in 2006, and is led by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues at the Department of Justice Canada.

Here in town we have many of support services through Victim Services including, but definitely not limited to emotional support, crisis intervention, information on the criminal justice system, referrals to other agencies and crime victim assistance programs.

McBain says, “We want to raise awareness of the help that is available, and empower people with options.”

If you are in need of information, help, or want to make a donation to the RCMP Victim Services, call 250-242-5252.