By Mandy Fisher, Healthy Connections, Healthy Communities Program Coordinator
Since last August, Healthy Connections; Healthy Communities (HCHC) Program has reached out to over 630 seniors in the community, providing a variety of programs aimed at promoting community connections and reducing isolation. Part of the Keeping Ottawa Seniors Connected (KOSC) Collective Impact Group, Ottawa West Community Support’s HCHC is working to increasing social connectedness among seniors in the Ottawa area through several initiatives.
Food Chop programs and Community Kitchens (supplied in part by fresh fruit and vegetable delivery every month by Ottawa Good Food Box) are up and running in six Ottawa Community Housing senior apartment buildings.
Program-led Community Socials, Volunteer Meetings, Volunteer Education, and Appointment Accompaniment Programs have begun to roll out in all locations, promoting community involvement, encouraging new relationships and strengthening community skills and capacity. So far more than 50 senior volunteers have participated in coordinating and running program activities, and have had the opportunity to expand their skills through participation in six community training sessions.
The program continues to grow at pace, and we are keen to welcome more community participants and volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, or just looking to establish new connections in your community, please get in touch and join us in our efforts to bring people together and build stronger local communities.
“This new program is a great way to meet my neighbours and develop new connections and friendships. If it hadn’t had been for the new Healthy Connections; Healthy Communities program, I probably would have never talked to my new friends. This is a great way to meet new people and get to know people who live in the same building as me.” – program participant