The District of Sooke received great news for seniors on Dec. 17.
We will be awarded a $20,000 grant for a Seniors Volunteer Connections program.
Nicky Logins, chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Social and Health Initiatives, spearheaded the application for a program to engage seniors and help them get information about community health, recreation resources and volunteer activities. This will be managed by the Community Health Initiative and will also create an opportunity for youth to work together with seniors.
Council’s priority is to help seniors find a drop-in centre they can call their own. We are currently working with seniors to find a suitable location for the long and short term. The Fire Department lounge at the District has worked well; however, seniors have told us that parking, access and space are issues. Seniors deserve a place that is accessible, suits their needs and that they can call their own.
We have met with representatives of OAP Branch 88 and the Drop in Centre president to determine what they need, and have discussed and looked at some options. Up to now lack of funding for a centre has limited these options.
I am very pleased to announce that the district’s budget process has identified funds that could be put towards the rental/lease of a seniors’ centre. This is a result of savings from the recent Partnering Agreement with the Prestige Hotel, and decisions we made to spend more wisely and put tax dollars toward the priorities in our community. I will be recommending to the Finance and Administration Committee that this be a dedicated line item in our budget.
Seniors are an asset to our community. They have raised families, built our community, and continue to contribute as volunteers. Council is committed to ensuring that seniors are valued and supported.
We will have further meetings in the New Year with more seniors to come up with ideas and locations for a seniors’ drop in centre.
We look forward to hearing ideas or suggestions from the community – anyone with ideas please contact me or Councillor Kasper.
District of Sooke
Mayor Wendal Milne