Cranbrook seniors looking to share their talents, passions and vocations with the community will have new opportunities to do so.
Golden Life Management is launching a Seniors’ Volunteer Training Program in Cranbrook, with the help of a $25,000 grant from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program.
The news was announced at a special luncheon last week at Joseph Creek Village to honour volunteers.
Celeste Mullin, Golden Life Management Vice President, said at the luncheon that the project addresses volunteerism, enabling seniors to fully utilize their talents and to be recognized for their contributions to their community.
“Seniors keep contributing to the social fabric of the community by using their skills and interests,” Mullin said. “But there is often a gap between the people who want to share their skills [and the opportunities to do so].”
Mullin added that seniors make up the number one volunteer demographic in the community.
“When a senior has a talent or passion for an activity and there is no local outlet, often that passion cannot be acted upon,” said Golden Life Management Marketing Director, Landon Elliott. “The program aims to bridge the gap between people who have passion for activities, and people who can act on those passions and engage the community.”
Proposed Volunteer Training areas include music, writing and reading, performance arts, art, recreation and administration.
The program will begin with community consultation with local stakeholders to determine the best training programs for Cranbrook senior volunteers. From there possible participants will be surveyed to determine what programs they would like to see conducted. Local seniors will act as facilitators to build training programs tailored to seniors who wish to volunteer.
Mentorship will be a key to the training program, Elliott said. The program will recruit seniors who wish to train others. The trainers will be asked to offer mentorship to senior participants while they run their first program.
Golden Life’s role will be to advertise to the public and contact all volunteer and seniors’ organizations in Cranbrook to invite any and all seniors to participate in the program. They will host space after the program for participants to operate their own social or recreational activities and to put their training to practice.
“At the heart of this project is enabling seniors to fully utilize their talents and to be recognized for their contributions to their community,” Mullin said. “We are honored to receive this grant and look forward to continue supporting and building working relationships with seniors in Cranbrook.”
At last week’s luncheon, Wednesday, April 26, Golden Life also paid tribute to the dozens of volunteers — individuals and groups — who are involved with Golden Life, naming them all in categories of one to five years volunteer service and five or more years.
Golden Life has 600 volunteers across the Kootenays. Nearly 100 give their time at Joseph Creek.