CRNs in the Community: Spreading Love and Building Capacity

Henry Yao, MLA for Richmond South and Daisy Au Chinese CRN Coordinator

February is a month to show kindness and care – and our wonderful CRNs showed lots of both last month. In February, we held some community-specific activities for Chinese, Jewish LGBTQ2SIA+ and Francophone seniors, honouring their cultural needs while providing key services. We also sent lots of Valentine’s love across B.C., with events, gifts, treats and educational resources to CRNs from the coast to the Alberta border and from the Lower Mainland to Kitimat. We are very grateful to all the seniors and vulnerable adults who welcome us so warmly. 

Chinese New Year Warmth and Caring Action

February 10th marked the beginning of the Lunar New Year and celebrations around the world continued for 15 days. Our Chinese CRN, together with other community service agencies, organized a “Chinese New Year Warmth & Caring Action Initiative” to benefit isolated seniors in Richmond. 

An opening ceremony was held at the Community Hub, office of Henry Yao, MLA for Richmond South Centre, and featured BC CRNs representatives Sharon Johnson and Daisy Au. After the ceremony, community partners and volunteers visited select low-income retirement communities and care homes where they delivered gift packages with traditional Chinese New Year items and resources to 100 seniors. For the full story, read our news post: Warmth and Care Usher in Year of the Dragon. To see pictures and connect with community partners of this initiative, visit the Chinese CRN Facebook page.  

Dying & Death 

The JQT Seniors Initiative CRN hosted a townhall conversation on the status of Jewish queer trans dying and death services in BC. This was the second event in their JQT Mental Health Support Initiative developed with support from BC CRN and other community partners. A list of impressive speakers included BC CRNs Coordinators Carmel Tanaka and Jen Marchbank. 

The event coordinators also addressed two calls to action: develop inclusive care services for Jewish LGBTQ2SIA+ seniors and ensure senior care home intakes adequately assess the needs of LGBTQ2SIA+ residents. For a copy of their resource guide or more information about this event and the JQT Mental Health Support Initiative visit their website or Facebook page. 

Francophone CRN

The Francophone CRN is part of an initiative called Inform’Elles, a non-profit organization that is serving to enhance awareness within the community and specifically among CRNs, regarding the Francophonie and the available French services for vulnerable adults facing abuse, neglect, and self-neglect in British Columbia. Inform’Elles provides various services to self-identifying Francophone women and vulnerable adults living in, or have survived, situations of violence.  There is a French service helpline at 1-604-653-8213. 

Presently they are gathering information about French resources in each community around the province and identifying areas that lack support for French-speaking seniors. For more information contact the CRN Coordinator. 

Spreading the Love 

Ashcroft-Cache Creek CRN hosted a Valentine’s Day Luncheon for the seniors in their community, providing an opportunity for connection with other seniors over a shared meal. Providing opportunities for connection and preventing social isolation is more important than ever to the vulnerable seniors in our communities who may be experiencing abuse, neglect or self-neglect and not have other ways of connection.

The Victoria CRN once again mobilized their “Have a Heart” project where volunteers came together to assemble 300 Valentine themed gift bags to be distributed to seniors through partner agencies Better at Home in the Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay areas. Each gift bag contained a heart-shaped cookie, a few candies, a Valentine card with the BC CRN logo and key phone numbers printed on the back, some promotional materials and brochures. The project grows each year and serves to strengthen ties with designated partner agencies, combat social isolation and increase awareness of the prevention of adult abuse, neglect and self-neglect. 

Building Capacity & Hosting Events  

North Shore CRN delivered three workshops in late January; two Ageism and one It’s Not Right sessions. The workshops took place at the Kiwanis North Shore Housing properties in North Vancouver where all attendees received information and promotional resource materials. Thank you to Kiwanis for donating the room. 

Sparwood CRN hosted an intergenerational family swim at the local recreation centre early in the month. CRN representatives set up an information table filled with resources and promotional materials about BC CRN and our mandate, and interacted with attendees throughout the event. One event feature was a beach bag prize draw to create more interest and opportunities to engage with the public. The bag was filled with various items, including resource and promotional materials for the prevention of adult abuse and neglect. The event was well attended and well received by all. 

Robson Valley CRN hosted a collaborative gathering to increase capacity of local networks, raise awareness of BC CRNs, and identify needed projects and resource gaps for vulnerable adults. They also reached out to Valemount Community Collaborative Table, a provincial table established by the Primary Care Network under Northern Interior Rural Division of Northern Health to explore collaboration for determining community needs. Plans for a seniors luncheon for education, outreach and needs assessment is set for March. 

Kitimat CRN hosted a booth at the Kitimat’s Family Fun Winterfest event where they provided resources and spoke to attendees about adult abuse, neglect and self-neglect. To amp up the fun, volunteers handed out hot chocolate and featured a guessing game at their table. The winner went home with a gift basket that included resources and promotional materials. 

Prince George CRN took part in an open house hosted by NiwiKowin Metis Family Services Society. Among other local agencies and organizations, the PGCRN set up a table with information resources and promotional materials for the prevention of adult abuse and neglect. Regional Mentor, Anjali Marshall was on hand to engage with the public and representatives of the other organizations about the BC CRN, our mandate and connect with possible partners.  

Salt Spring Island CRN is working on outreach pathways to more marginalized seniors by producing two Dance Your Ability sessions that will consist of movement, journaling and discussion for participants. The sessions will be available for seniors and their support people and aimed towards creating connection and inclusion for vulnerable older adults with disabilities. These sessions will also connect participants with other local designated agencies and resources for the prevention of abuse, neglect and self-neglect. 


Explore our website to learn more about BC CRN or connect with your local CRN for more information or resources. 



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