During the COVID-19 pandemic, Avenue Living Communities (ALC) has adapted and will be continuing one of its greatest new resources for residents, the Prairie Relief team. Launched in early March as a product of ALC's duty of care to help its residents navigate difficult times amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The team includes an individual who has extensive experience within ALC, Brendan Nickles, Office Services Coordinator.
The Prairie Relief team is ALC "coming together to ensure residents feel safe, secure, and can get answers," says Nickles.
Nickles has had many customer service-related roles which gives him the experience needed to be part of the Prairie Relief Team. "My understanding of the company as a whole has really helped me to field many different types of questions," says Nickles, who has worked with ALC since 2017. "I've always been in customer service and had those interactions – that's where I want to be. I work with integrity, and I work to make a positive impact to someone along the way – knowing that, it makes me proud of what I do."
This dedicated resource team does not stop at Nickles. The Prairie Relief team consists of 18 members comprised of individuals from varying backgrounds, disciplines, and experience levels. It breathes life into ALC's In It Together core value, where we stand together and work together to get things done.
"We have marketing, asset management, legal and accounting team members helping out because we're all a family and in this together – we want to make sure that we can provide that help." says Nickles.
Some residents who have had the pleasure of speaking with Nickles, have submitted positive comments after their experience with him and the Prairie Relief Team. He has been praised for displaying a level of empathy that has made residents feel at ease, especially while they are going through other difficulties.
"It needs to be recognised what an outstanding job he [Nickles] is doing representing your company," said an ALC resident, Janine, via email. "His unique ability to be empathetic and sympathetic during such a difficult and uncertain time for many people, are qualities that are rare and need to be recognised fully. You don't find people like that often, and when you do, you should hang on because they are the people who make your company what it is."
"I think she [Janine] really felt that I was going to keep trying until we had a resolution," says Nickles. "It makes me feel really good knowing I have made an impact."
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ALC has been listening, and constantly adapting their services to be better for their residents as some face financial challenges, or have limited contact while isolated in their homes. ALC donated $100,000 to local food banks in their communities last month, another duty they take upon themselves to support residents in their cities and neighbourhoods.
Moving forward, the Prairie Relief Team looks to exist into the future, and Nickles is dedicated to keep providing support.
"Things may be getting better, but we could still have residents who are affected," says Nickles. "At the end of the day, why would we stop offering specialized help that even one resident needs? We're here for them no matter what."