Columbia Basin Trust has announced $800,000 in funding to support social well-being programs in the region, and several Cranbrook and East Kootenay organizations will benefit.
When the pandemic forced the Caregivers Network for East Kootenay Seniors Society to pause their in-person support for seniors and their caregivers, the organization started offering a new service online – but to Cranbrook residents only, CBT said in a press release.
This program was popular enough that the society is expanding it across the region. As CBT explained, Conversation Café will being seniors and caregivers together virtually, along with guest speakers and representatives from community agencies to discover local resources, learn from one another and feel included.
“This project will increase awareness of local services and provide valuable information and connections to help keep seniors safe during the pandemic and beyond,” said Tobi Johnston, Executive Director of the Caregivers Network for East Kootenay Seniors Society. “By offering a gathering place and support during a time when many seniors are confined to their homes, it will help reduce social isolation and improve mental health and wellness.”
Several other Cranbrook organizations will also benefit from the Social Grants program.
The Community Connections Society of Southeast BC will receive $25,000 for their walk-in counselling clinic to provide short-term counselling and crisis intervention.
Community Connections will also see $4,700 for their Well Being Social and Connected program to increase social connections among women through educational activities, skill-building opportunities and group discussions.
The United Way East Kootenay’s Celebrate Age-friendly Cranbrook program will receive $4,313 to help reduce social isolation for seniors by increasing opportunities for intergenerational connections and community engagement.
The Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays will receive $18,945 for their LGBTQ2+ and Allies Opportunity Project. The project aims to increase social inclusion, connections and supports for members and allies of the LGBTQ2+ community.
The Canadian Mental Health Association will also see $4,500 for the Community Bystander Prevention Training program which will deliver community workshops and training on violence education and bystander intervention.
Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook will receive $4,995, which will be used to help children aged seven to 12 with economic barriers to attend the play-based nature day camp, Camp Odyssey.
The Rocky Mountain Behavior Analysts, an East Kootenay organization, will receive $12,000 for the Social Skill Groups to pilot barrier-free social skills groups for children and youth with diverse developmental abilities to improve social connections and interactions.
A total of 42 projects will benefit from the CBT Social Grants program.
“Residents told us that improving social well-being in Basin communities continues to be a priority and is dependent on many factors, including having access to supports and resources, overcoming barriers like poverty, and feeling like you’re included in and belong in your community,” said Nicole MacLellan, Delivery of Benefits Manager with Columbia Basin Trust. “Each of these projects focuses on addressing social challenges to enhance the lives of people in the Basin.”
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