Base volunteers take pride in HeroWork


NPTG volunteers flex their muscles to celebrate a job well done.

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

Military personnel from the base continue to build on their legacy with the charity HeroWork.

Their efforts were showcased March 12 during HeroWork’s Big Reveal event at the Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS) in Langford.

Approximately 450 volunteers worked on the IPS renovation including many civilians and military personnel from CFB Esquimalt.

The project started in September 2021 with about two thirds of the total cost – materials and labour – donated by individuals and area businesses.

Volunteer Lt(N) Robert McKay worked as a Site Manager drawing on his years of experience as a home renovator. He also organized a team of 10 volunteers from his unit Naval Personnel and Training Group to help out with a variety of tasks.

He estimates logging 40 hours at the IPS over two months and says the volunteer work is highly rewarding and fully worth the time spent. 

“There is a level of excitement and camaraderie felt while transforming a charity’s building that is really contagious,” he says. “You develop a great sense of pride knowing that what you are doing is not just changing a building, but the lives of people that live and work within it, and in this case far beyond.”

The IPS trains approximately 1,300 people each year, mostly social workers and other support staff, who work with Indigenous communities to provide social services and other support.

Some of the improvements at the site, located on Granderson Road, include newly-configured work spaces, culturally relevant designs, improved natural lighting and skylights, a redesigned interior layout, soundproofing, new washrooms, a redesigned building façade, and landscaping upgrades.

“Over the past 10 years we have learned that we can count on members of Canada’s military to step up for HeroWork,” says Trevor Botkin, HeroWork Executive Director. “They volunteer their time, expertise, and positive energy in a service to our community and charity transformations. It takes a community to rebuild one and we are grateful to be able to count on you.”

HeroWork renovates and rebuilds the facilities of local non-profit community groups. Their Radical Renovations typically involve structural and aesthetic improvements for buildings that house local community organizations.

The Indigenous Perspective Society (IPS) helps foster a deeper understanding of Indigenous perspectives, cultural differences, and the need for self-determination.

In BC, a staggering 50 to 60 per cent of children in Foster Care are Indigenous. IPS’s programming and training helps support these children, youth, and their families.

As a result, over time thousands of Indigenous children in care are impacted through IPS. By way of education, they also advance knowledge and understanding of Indigenous cultures and practices for organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, helping deepen reconciliation.

Programming includes:

• Training all Delegated Aboriginal Child and Family Service Social
   Workers in BC.

• Training and support to Indigenous Care Givers of BC.

• Management of a 1-800 support-line.

• Cultural Perspectives Training.

For more information about HeroWork and how to support them visit their website:


HeroWork volunteer Lt(N) Robert McKay takes a break from his job as a Site Manager at the Indigenous Perspectives Society. Lt(N) McKay is one of the many military personnel who pitched in on HeroWork’s latest Radical Renovation project in Langford. Don Craig photography.

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