June is the busiest month on the calendar for CRNs across the province. It’s National Indigenous History Month, June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day and the beginning of Pride Season across Canada. There were also countless events and activities to spotlight seniors’ issues – starting with a tour for Seniors Week and WEAAD 2023 to our 2023 AGM. Here are a few highlights from around the province.
Seniors Advocate Visits Three CRNs
Three CRNs hosted Isobel McKenzie, BC’s Seniors Advocate, who toured the province during Seniors Week. Anjali Marshall, BC CRN’s Northern Interior Regional Mentor, attended all three events where McKenzie presented for half an hour and then held Q&A sessions. These are the issues that arose in each feedback session:
- Seniors in the Vanderhoof CRN area talked about the lack of funding for transportation and housing. The session was held at a local senior’s hall where CRN Coordinator Jeannie McGregor organized a table loaded with information and promotional materials for the many attendees. Jeannie planned to be at many other events throughout June to continue building affiliates and volunteers in the area.
- Fraser Lake’s seniors discussed a lack of housing and adequate healthcare personnel. Coordinator Elaine Storey oversees the drop-in centre for seniors and has a strong motivation to strengthen community networks. The mayor was on hand for the event and there was plenty of promotional materials.
- The Lakes District covers seven local communities. Coordinator Elaine Wiebe joined BC CRN just last Fall and is the Better At Home Manager with the local agency The LINK. She is working on her affiliate list and has volunteers through The LINK. The event was well attended by local seniors.
Awards, Events and Awareness across BC
Meanwhile, Barb Endicott had the pleasure of presenting the Sparwood CRN 2023 Fellowship Award to local resident, Nevaeh. Nevaeh wrote the winning essay and will be using the award towards her future education at the University of Calgary.
Kamloops CRN participated in a new city initiative event through Better at Home and Mount Paul Food Centre. Brochures were packaged with gas and coffee cards and meal deliveries to seniors and adults with diverse abilities. A presentation about BC CRN and elder abuse awareness was delivered to the staff of both agencies.
Salmo CRN partnered with Salmo Food Bank and took a Bite Out of Senior Abuse at a seniors’ coffee group. After a presentation on the signs of abuse, bags of fruit and veggies, meat pies and soup were handed out along with BC CRN brochures and booklets. The event was funded in part by Columbia Power to help offset costs.
With the support of the Kaslo CRN the SLIDE (Support for Learning Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity) team was able to purchase and award books to J.V.H. School in honour of Pride and National Indigenous History month. The SLIDE project was founded to address a broad spectrum of prejudice and to represent diversity, including racial, sexual, gender, family, economic, citizenship/immigration status, age and neurodiversity.
The Abbotsford CRN, along with community partners, hosted a free event called Aging Together Abbotsford Fair to share information with seniors about local services and active living resources in the area. Coffee and lunch were provided along with three workshops on active living, medication reviews and fraud awareness.