Pet­lock mak­ing a mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion to our com­mu­nity

Area res­i­dent serves in wide va­ri­ety of vol­un­teer roles


ED­I­TOR’S NOTE: This ar­ti­cle is part of a monthly se­ries, “Cheers for Vol­un­teers”, which high­lights lo­cal vol­un­teers and their or­ga­ni­za­tions.

This month, in our se­ries, “Cheers for Vol­un­teers”, we cheer Melody Pet­lock for her work with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions in our com­mu­nity.

Melody was a found­ing mem­ber of the Sackville Com­mons Cowork­ing Co-op­er­a­tive and is cur­rently sec­re­tary of the Co-op­er­a­tive’s Board. Housed in the Town’s for­mer fire­hall and po­lice sta­tion on Main Street, it pro­vides col­lab­o­ra­tive work­ing spa­ces to sup­port in­no­va­tion and re­source shar­ing (http:// www.cowork­

Pet­lock was also a found­ing mem­ber of the Open Sky Co-op­er­a­tive where she con­tin­ues to be a mem­ber. The co-op­er­a­tive, lo­cated on an 11-acre farm in Mid­dle Sackville, wel­comes adults who face bar­ri­ers due to so­cial dis­abil­i­ties such as Autism Spec­trum Dis­or­der, and/or men­tal health chal­lenges like de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and schizophre­nia. This co-op­er­a­tive pro­vides skills pro­grammes, vo­ca­tional as­sis­tance and com­mu­nity con­nec­tions for adults who re­quire sup­port to im­prove their qual­ity of life (http:// open­

In ad­di­tion, Pet­lock is a mem­ber of the steer­ing group for the Sackville Com­mu­nity Gar­den, lo­cated on Charles Street near the train tracks, which is home to al­most 30 in­di­vid­ual plots as well as a com­mu­nity sec­tion which fea­tures herb and veg­eta­bles gar­dens, berry bushes, an out­door class­room, com­post­ing toi­let, tool shed and wood-fired bake oven (https:// sackvil­lecom­mu­ni­ty­gar­den.word­

As well as her vol­un­teer work, Pet­lock is also in­volved in re­cruit­ing, train­ing, co­or­di­nat­ing and over­see­ing vol­un­teers for her two paid jobs as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Day­break Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre and Mount Al­li­son Univer­sity’s SHARE ad­vi­sor (Sex­ual Ha­rass­ment and As­sault Re­sponse and Ed­u­ca­tion).

Day­break Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre, which Pet­lock founded 20 years ago, fo­cuses on men­tal ill­ness preven­tion and men­tal health pro­mo­tion. It pro­motes com­mu­nity in­te­gra­tion by pro­vid­ing so­cial, vo­ca­tional, recre­ational and ad­vo­cacy ac­tiv­i­ties and helps peo­ple be­come more in­de­pen­dent by means of peer sup­port, ed­u­ca­tion and mu­tual aid.

Mem­bers of the ac­tiv­ity cen­tre meet with Pet­lock to cre­ate a monthly cal­en­dar of ac­tiv­i­ties based on their cur­rent in­ter­ests and needs. The cal­en­dar and other in­for­ma­tion are avail­able at­break­sackvil­

Pet­lock uses vol­un­teers to pro­vide many of the ac­tiv­i­ties at Day­break such as arts and crafts, theatre games, im­pro­vi­sa­tion and phys­i­cal fit­ness.

She also part­ners with other or­ga­ni­za­tions on ac­tiv­i­ties which help Day­break clients make a con­tri­bu­tion to their com­mu­nity. For ex­am­ple, Day­break works with the Tantra­mar Fam­ily Re­source Cen­tre and the Sackville Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion to make mini-story sacks for the Christ­mas Cheer ini­tia­tive. Each cot­ton draw­string bag con­tains a book as well as a toy and an arts and crafts ac­tiv­ity which match the book. This year, Day­break has al­ready made 200 mini-story sacks for Christ­mas 2018.

Pet­lock’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as Mount Al­li­son’s SHARE ad­vi­sor in­clude ad­min­is­ter­ing the univer­sity’s Pol­icy on Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Re­sponse and Preven­tion and do­ing case man­age­ment for fac­ulty, staff and stu­dents af­ter dis­clo­sures of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, sex­ual as­sault, in­ti­mate part­ner vi­o­lence, ho­mo­pho­bia and trans­pho­bia. She uses vol­un­teer stu­dent peer ed­u­ca­tors who of­fer ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port. Vol­un­teers also help Melody with a Pos­i­tive Space Cam­paign and Walk Home Ser­vices.

What mo­ti­vates Melody to do the work she does?

“I need to do some­thing that mat­ters,” she says. “I like to make a mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion to my com­mu­nity.”

Pet­lock sees her mem­ber­ship in the Girl Guides when she was grow­ing up as the big­gest in­flu­ence in terms of her ded­i­ca­tion to ser­vice. The group she be­longed to helped with cri­sis sit­u­a­tions in her com­mu­nity, pro­vided as­sis­tance to the home­less and vol­un­teered at count­less events to help oth­ers.

“We were taught to help oth­ers. ‘A Guide thinks of other peo­ple be­fore her­self.’”

What’s one thing that could make our com­mu­nity bet­ter? Pet­lock would like to see a com­mu­nity re­source cen­tre es­tab­lished where peo­ple could find in­for­ma­tion about what­ever ser­vices they are in­ter­ested in, whether it’s meet­ing ba­sic needs like food, cloth­ing or shel­ter, emer­gency as­sis­tance, men­tal health ser­vices, recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties or vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Day­break can al­ways use more vol­un­teers; the more vol­un­teers it has, the more ac­tiv­i­ties it can pro­vide for its mem­bers.

“There is al­ways lots for vol­un­teers to do,” says Pet­lock, “rang­ing from putting up posters to keep­ing sup­plies or­ga­nized, to lead­ing pro­grams. Ev­ery­one can do some­thing.”

Pet­lock in­tends to reg­is­ter Day­break in the lo­cal vol­un­teer data base; in the mean­time, if any­one in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing with Day­break can get in touch with Pet­lock at day­break­sackville@

Check out our lo­cal vol­un­teer data base at vol­un­teer­tantra­mar. ca. Whether you’re an or­ga­ni­za­tion look­ing for vol­un­teers, some­one al­ready in­volved in vol­un­teer­ing or a new vol­un­teer look­ing for an op­por­tu­nity to help out, go into the data base and get your­self reg­is­tered. If you need as­sis­tance in reg­is­ter­ing, drop by the Sackville Com­mons at 64 Main Street, in the old fire hall, any time Mon­day to Fri­day be­tween 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Melody Pet­lock has been an ac­tive vol­un­teer in the com­mu­nity for sev­eral years. She is also the founder and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Day­break Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre, which fo­cuses on men­tal ill­ness preven­tion and men­tal health pro­mo­tion.

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