“I love where I live, and love where I work,” said Nikki Vincent, one of two Chief Operating Officers at Yellowhead Community Services. “I get to work with a group of passionate individuals working towards the same goals around community health and wellness.”
Vincent has worked in the social service sector for 22 years and was drawn to Clearwater from Maple Ridge, BC by the lifestyle the North Thompson area offers. She moved with her husband 12 years ago seeking an acreage and higher quality of life with a lower cost of living.
“My husband and I grew up in a small community where there was easy access to recreation,” said Vincent. “There’s a great sense of community here. People are friendly, there’s lots of events, and four distinct seasons, which means there’s lots of activities to engage in as a family.”
From an agency perspective, Vincent notes being in a smaller community means there’s more collaboration which allows a wide spectrum of services to be provided. The connections, relationships, and support from the community make it possible for Yellowhead Community Services to offer services in an impactful way.
“Part of my role involves developing programming for adults with developmental disabilities. There’s so much community support for this program which creates a sense of inclusion and safety for individuals who may be more vulnerable,” said Vincent. “This community is so supportive in general. When someone is in need, or there’s a crisis, the community pulls together.”
Friendliness, people, and recreation are the first things Vincent tells others about if they haven’t visited Clearwater. Depending on the season, she also recommends people come and explore Dutch Lake, the Candle Creek cross country skiing, hiking and mountain bike trails, the local ski hill, forestry recreation sites, nearby fishing lakes and Wells Gray Park.
“My favourite part of the day is going to the lake in the late afternoon or early evening. There’s nothing quite like being out on a paddleboard watching the fish jump while enjoying Music in the Park.”
Vincent notes this lifestyle is affordable for everyone, from young families to seniors. Other benefits like a local hospital and medical clinic means it’s easier to access a doctor and medical services, something not always possible in larger centres where doctor shortages exist.
“You can get a house here for what an apartment will cost in a city. Your money goes a lot further,” Vincent said. “For a small community, we also have a lot to offer in terms of fitness programming including exercise classes, line dancing, organized sports, kickboxing, and swimming lessons in the lake.”
“We first came here 16 years ago on a camping trip. Moving here was the best decision for us as a family. We love it and don’t plan to leave.”
Social media pages: www.yellowheadcs.ca