Members of the Campbell River Seniors Network Committee from left to right: Kristi Schwanicke, United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island; Marcia McKay, Campbell River Lions Senior Housing and Benevolent Society; Allan Campbell, Campbell River and District Division of Family Practice; Michele Sirett, City of Campbell River Recreation and Culture; Cindy Maxwell, Island Health Community Health Services; Brenda Wagman, Community Development Consultant; and Mary Catherine Williams, Volunteer Campbell River. Image provided

New seniors network coming to Campbell River

Seniors in Campbell River will soon have a new service.

The Campbell River Seniors Network HUB will aim to help seniors access information and resources while also reducing isolation. United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) and the City of Campbell River have teamed up to co-fund this new initiative.

Based on a series of community consultations, the Campbell River Seniors Network (comprised of 34 local organizations serving seniors, including UWCNVI and the City of Campbell River), identified the HUB as an effective way to address the information needs of seniors, their families and caregivers.

Local research showed that many seniors have a challenging and inconsistent experience accessing information on available services, programs and benefits. Campbell River’s Vital Signs 2018 reported that 21.1 per cent of the local population is made-up of seniors 65 and older; a quarter of them live alone (25.6 per cent) and 12.5 per cent live in poverty.

The HUB will be the first of its kind in the region, acting as a drop-in space where seniors can access information and receive support, specifically navigating health and social services.

“The Seniors HUB is an important initiative that we are glad to be co-funding with United Way,” said Mayor Andy Adams. “Co-funding a special project annually through the Social Grants Program provides an example of how collaborative spirit increases positive impacts in our community.”

This initiative is made possible through United Way’s Community Development Grant Program and the City of Campbell River’s Social Grant Program.

The City’s Social Grant Program provides $100,000 in annual funding to the community and applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other organizations and to find matching funds. United Way’s Community Development Grant Program offers grants that encourage collaboration between community agencies to fill gaps in service which address complex social issues.

“United Way’s donors want to help Campbell River’s growing population of seniors and they want to fund innovative ways to solve community challenges. Together the City, United Way and the Seniors Network will ensure that seniors have a service not currently offered and we all learn more about those needs through the HUB,” said Signy Madden, Executive Director, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island.

The HUB is currently in the development stages; confirming the service model, location and securing additional funding for ongoing coordination.

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