Sooke Seniors Volunteer Connections Project
The world’s population is rapidly aging, and British Columbia is no exception. By 2031, close to 1.5 million British Columbians across the province will be over 65 — almost a quarter of the province’s population.
Around the globe, communities are getting ready to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities of an aging population.
Everyone benefits in an age-friendly community. Seniors are supported to age actively, enjoy good health, and remain independent and involved in their communities.
People of all ages and abilities benefit from safer, barrier-free buildings and streets, better access to local businesses and facilities, and more green spaces.
Businesses benefit from the increased support and spending power of older customers, and are better able to support older workers.
The community benefits from the increased participation of older adults in community life.
The creation of age-friendly communities in British Columbia builds on the following projects and reports.
1. Findings from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Age-friendly Cities project, which produced: Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide;
2. The Canadian Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities project, which resulted in: Age-friendly Rural and Remote Communities: A Guide.
Sooke fits under the Age-friendly Cities Guide with a population of over 5,000. The Sooke region still has a younger population than the British Columbia average, however this is also likely to change with the aging Baby Boomers and an increase in retirees coming to our area.
In December 2012 the District of Sooke, with the support of the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre Committee (SRVCC), a sub-committee of the Sooke Region Community Health Initiative, made an application to the Union of B.C. Municipalities for an Age-Friendly Community Grant. The application was successful and the District of Sooke was awarded $20,000 towards the Senior Volunteer Connections project.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to bring Seniors and Youth togetherand to develop new and exciting volunteer opportunities that will benefit our community. Let’s get our Volunteer Centre up and running!” said Linda Nehra, CHI and SRVC member.
The aim of Senior Volunteer Connections is to engage seniors groups and individual seniors in volunteer activities through direct engagement, partnerships between local youth and seniors, and the development of a physical space where seniors and other community members can connect around volunteer opportunities.
More information will be coming soon. Watch www.sookeregionresources.com for more on this and the up coming Volunteer Fair to be held in National Volunteer week April 21 to 27
The Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI) is a partnership of community members, and health and social service providers working towards, advocating for, and creating healthy communities from Beecher Bay to Port Renfrew.