Nursing alumna, students collaborate in inspiring community project

Second-year nursing students are making a difference on Calgary’s downtown eastside, thanks in large part to the initiative Safe In My Backyard

The student group includes, back row from left: Brianna Rizzuti, Amy Brown, Julia Dubinski, Laura Tupper and Anna Golovaneva. Front row: nursing instructor Melanie Lind-Kosten, Chantal Moore, Stephanie King and nursing alum and community rep Mandy Loates.

The student group includes, back row from left: Brianna Rizzuti, Amy Brown, Julia Dubinski, Laura Tu

For the third year in a row, second-year nursing students are making a difference on Calgary’s downtown eastside, thanks in large part to alumna Amanda (Mandy) Loates, BN’10, and her initiative Safe In My Backyard. This school term, the students worked on the creation of a Facebook page and Instagram account in addition to an informational handout for East Village condominium residents focused on getting them to know their neighbours.

Loates, a registered nurse (community mental health) with Alberta Health Services, started Safe In My Backyard (SIMBY) after a distressing experience led her to see that community attitudes can hinder and even restrict work done by agencies that support stigmatized groups.

“I saw the need to increase some Calgarians’ understanding of stigmatized members of our community and to shift public views from NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) so everyone can feel safe,” says Loates. “Community members may have valid fears or worries that can be addressed with more information and understanding of the services already available in our community and education on how best to direct their concerns.”

See the full story in the May 1, 2015 edition of UToday.