The North Cariboo Seniors’ Council (NCSC) has done a lot of work since forming last fall, and members are excited to share what they’ve been up to with the public during an open house this Friday.
The NCSC Late Autumn Open House will take place Friday, Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Spirit Square on St. Laurent Avenue.
The NCSC is holding a membership and volunteer drive this month, and at the open house, visitors can find out more about getting involved with the council.
“Basically, the event is really to announce to passers-by and all those in the community that this group is functioning and doing good work in the community,” council liaison Coun. Mitch Vik said at the Oct. 20 council meeting as he announced the upcoming event. “Most importantly, we’re going to have a function there where we’re going to try to sign up some volunteers to join the group to help with some of the activities we do. It’s an information dissemination campaign, recruitment for volunteers and a general announcement in a more public way that we’re here.”
The NCSC is located in the same office as the Quesnel Downtown Association in Spirit Square at 102-246 St. Laurent Ave., and the office is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The office is manned by volunteers who are passionate about helping seniors in the community.
“We got together and got some interesting people involved,” said president Brenda Gardiner. “Northern Health in involved, the Quesnel Seniors’ Centre Society, some retired teachers, seniors who don’t have any affiliation with anybody. We all just kind of got together and said ‘we could do something to improve the lives of seniors here in Quesnel.’”
The NCSC got off the ground last fall after the City of Quesnel completed a study looking at how to make Quesnel age-friendly.
“The mayor wanted different organizations around the city to get together and brainstorm,” explained Gardiner. “After the study was completed, they identified four major gaps of service delivery for seniors in Quesnel. The City asked us to formulate a council that we not only be an advocacy, but we would also try to take on trying to take on some of these voids.”
The gaps identified in the study were transportation, housing, food security, and yard work and maintenance.
“Our mission is to protect and enhance the safety, quality of life, livability and sustainability of our senior citizen community,” according to the NCSC’s website. “We will strive to benefit such members of our community by using the opportunities available to us. We will be successful in serving the needs of our seniors community through visionary leadership, strong community partnerships, safety and service, and sound financial management.”
Once it formed, the NCSC applied successfully for several grants worth about $15,000, and it has been putting that funding to good use.
One grant that has had a big impact is a yard work grant from the Quesnel Community Foundation.
“One of the most successful things we did was get the yard work grant,” said Gardiner. “To date, we have logged in 215 hours of yard work. We got the money to hire a guy who is loved by the seniors, and we’ve been able to help 61 senior clients to get their yard work done.”
The NCSC also received a grant from United Way to secure frozen meals that could be delivered to seniors. The council has delivered 900 meals to seniors with this funding.
A NCSC membership is $10 for an individual membership, $50 for a community group membership and $100 for a business membership. A membership purchased during these last three months of 2020 will remain current until December 2021. Purchasing a membership helps support this new community council work to improve the lives of seniors in the community, as the NCSC has no funding for its operational expenses.
For more information about the NCSC, visit caribooseniorscouncil.org or call 250-991-0510.