January 18, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DOWNTOWN WATCH VOLUNTEER HOURS BLAST TARGET BY 1,873 IN 2010
WINNIPEG—Downtown Watch volunteers logged almost 3,000 more hours last year than in 2009, also doubling in numbers since 2008. This means that downtown streets have become safer, and also that more Winnipeggers are getting the customer service skills and experience they need to move forward in their careers.
Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Downtown Watch, Craig Strike, feels that it’s the environment that really attracts volunteers to the program. “One of our most important mandates is adding value in the lives of others. The Watch’s presence makes downtown visitors feel more comfortable and the volunteers have a genuinely great time out there,” he says.
In 2010, Downtown Watch volunteers logged 16,373 hours, which is equivalent to approximately nine full time staff, or more than $250,000.
The Downtown Watch regularly partners with schools to give students hands-on experience. Currently, the Watch has eight International students on a three-week work practicum, which instructors say gives them an invaluable experience. Students have come from countries such as China, India, North Africa and Korea, with some experiencing their first Winnipeg winter. They will spend their practicum walking downtown streets, job-shadowing Watch staff, interacting with passers-by and learning about our city.
About the Downtown Watch:
The award-winning Downtown Watch program is an initiative of the Downtown BIZ, which enhanced downtown safety, cleanliness, image, parking, and transportation, while also running events and promoting the heart of our city.