Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) proudly recognizes its long-serving staff members. At this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), CNH staff and contractors who have reached the milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of service to the neighbourhood house were thanked by the Board of Directors.
This year, we recognize and celebrate Renuka Bhardwaj for 25 years of service. Here’s what Sabrina Bantog, Manager of Child Care Human Resources, had to say about Renuka:
I have known Renuka since she started with us at CNH 25 years ago. When I first met her, it was both as colleagues and in the parent/caregiver capacity as her daughter was in my program as an infant. Renuka’s first role with CNH was as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) practicum student. Shortly after, she became a preschool staff and then took over as the supervisor of the program. She has been with the program as a coordinator ever since.
If I had to pick one memory of Renuka, it would be of the time we spent together with Leadership Initiative, a course offered by Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC), where we spent many hours together learning about and working on advocacy for childcare. We created a project called “Children Are Everybody’s Business” and when the program came to an end, Renuka’s journey of advocacy was far from over. She continued on to become a board member with the Vancouver branch of ECEBC and recently became a shop steward.
Outside of her typical work, Renuka takes opportunities when she can in order to support CNH. During the pandemic, Renuka was a tremendous support for community food distribution. Emily Rees, Director of Community Development, says Renuka stepped up without hesitation and was such a pleasure to work with. Renuka worked behind the scenes organizing food orders, registering clients, and working directly with community members to maintain safety, answer questions and receive food. Renuka was able to pivot her skillset and apply her knowledge from childcare to a new setting. She was also open to learning new skills. We were so grateful for Renuka’s contributions and are proud to share that Renuka continues to support other initiatives at CNH, such as our annual volunteer recognition event.
Renuka’s colleagues say they enjoy working with her because she is open to new ideas, passionate about her work and fun to work with. Renuka’s favourite work-related memories are our Christmas parties in the multi-purpose room (a long time ago) and our ECE trip to Reggio Emilia in Italy.
Renuka says, “CNH is not only my workplace, it was also my childcare place. I have made some good friends, I know I can go to for advice and help.” Additionally, Renuka says she has stayed with CNH for so long because CNH is a family-friendly workplace and it became the village that helped raise her child.
When asked about her future plans and goals, Renuka says, “Let’s see what the future holds for me.”
Renuka would like to acknowledge her daughter, Nikita, who now works at CNH with the Department of Operations.
Thank you, Renuka, and congratulations on this milestone!
To learn about current career opportunities at CNH, visit www.cnh.bc.ca/about/careers.