District, SCCPC going for age-friendly community grant

district and community Planning council apply for $20,000 seniors grant

District of 100 Mile House unanimously supported a resolution to submit a grant application to the provincial government’s 2013 Age-friendly Community Planning & Project Grant program at its Nov. 13 council meeting.

If approved, it will help the district further its plan to become an age-friendly community.

Councillors also agreed to authorize staff to work with the South Cariboo Community Planning Council (SCCPC) to prepare and submit the application.

The main objectives are to identify needs and resources for becoming an age-friendly community; promote the concept of seniors helping seniors; and explore “affordable retirement for active seniors.”

Upon his return from the Union of British Columbian Communities convention in September, Councillor Ralph Fossum urged council to jump on board and apply for a maximum $20,000 grant, which doesn’t require matching funding from the district.

There was a Nov. 16 deadline to get the application to Victoria for consideration.

The grant application was prepared by SCCPC on behalf of the district, and Fossum says they had some lead time to think about what they wanted to do prior to council giving formal approval.

“We knew it would be 11th hour, but we did our homework. It was easy going but busy going because once we had council resolution, which came on Tuesday, the application had to be in by Friday.

“To do a grant application for government in three days is quite an achievement.”

Noting the application title is “100 Mile House – Towards an Age-Friendly Community,” he says “towards” is important because they have to engage with seniors to see what they think and what the community might be able to do.

The councillor adds he thinks of it as age-friendly planning rather than an age-friendly project.

Fossum notes the plan would focus on seniors’ respect and inclusion, social participation, communication and information, civic participation and employment, and community support and health services.

The application lists the project’s goals and objectives of helping the district become an age-friendly community.

To do this, it will:

• Identify individuals who provide leadership roles within the local seniors

population to become part of a Seniors’ Advisory Group.

• Through the consultation process, it will identify seniors who have an interest in developing

“seniors helping seniors” roles.

• Create a framework for ongoing “age-friendly” community development.

Fossum says he sees this planning project as only the beginning of the process.

“There’s no secret about this stuff. There are a lot of communities in B.C. where people are realizing we have an aging population and we have a lot of baby boomers who are coming into the league. So, there is greater demand and more that we can all do.

“There are many communities that are doing things and we want to make sure we’re on board with that.”

The councillor adds it’s the first grant and he wants to go for more.District an