by Shawnalynn Cromwell
I became a member of Turning the Tide in the late spring of 2019. In the before times. I was told about the organization and was intrigued. Shortly after, I became a CA (Community Ambassador). The basis of the organization is all about “Community,” hence the member title “Community Ambassador.” It is about making connections with communities, within Digby and the communities that surround it.
Initially, Turning the Tide held various community forums, to introduce themselves to the area. My fellow CA and I teamed up, and we had three World Café events to connect with our community of Weymouth. Ironically, we were only obligated to hold one event. But once we did one together, we soldiered on and had two more! We provided a venue for the community to gather and offered refreshments. All three events were incredibly eye-opening. We collected information on three main topics of the day (Healthcare, the Environment and Employment and the Economy). We received a lot of great feedback from the information surveys. I shudder to think what the input would be in these times. Turning the Tide’s mission is to become aware, involved and find out what its people may need and want to share.
Our group was fortunate to be featured on the CBC show Land and Sea in 2019. They heard of the work that Turning the Tide was doing in the Digby and surrounding area and were interested in finding out more about the organization and seeing its members in action. It was fun to take part in that kind of event. Land and Sea recorded at the NSCC site in Digby.
Michael Carty, the Community Coordinator with Turning the Tide asked me if I would be open to being interviewed in 2019 to discuss what I have gotten from being part of Turning the Tide. I said yes! It was exciting and fun to do.
Also, I have presented to Turning the Tide to introduce them to Peer Support. I took the training to be a Peer Support Worker through Peer Support Nova Scotia. I guess I spoke about it so much that it interested them, so they asked if I would do a presentation to explain it to them. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. Michael was my partner in the production and helped me with performing the role plays. It was a blast!
In June of 2020, we decided to form a Community Outreach response. Community Ambassadors reached out to members of their communities to see how they were faring with a lockdown at that time. We asked a series of questions and offered a list of resources if needed. We received good feedback, and the community members were receptive — but wished we had done so sooner. We realized this as well, but were happy to offer whatever guidance and resources that we could at that time.
Turning the Tide has also taken on a new venture, the Community Connection Grant Program. Anyone from the community with an idea can apply for up to $3000. To date, the Community Connection Grant Committee has gotten 21 applications for the funding. Turning the Tide sees this as a way to boost and promote these communities. Currently the Grant Program is accepting applications for future consideration on another round. Contact us to receive the forms and showcase or describe your business or community initiative idea.
Another new endeavour is the new Youth Space in the Digby area. The Digby Area and Youth Space! I think it is an overdue space, and I am so glad it is there for the youth! Stay tuned; I will have more to come about this space.
The journey has been incredible for my personal growth. I feel invigorated by the friendships and connections I have made. Thank you, Turning the Tide!