Continued funding of $500,000 for the Age-friendly Community Planning and Project Grant program will help support seniors in every region of British Columbia, Health Minister Terry Lake announced earlier this month.
“Local governments from across British Columbia can now apply for the 2014 round of age-friendly grants to help ensure their community better meets the needs of its older residents,” said Lake. “To date, age-friendly grants have funded almost 200 projects in over 100 B.C. communities helping to keep seniors active, healthy and independent.”
The Age-friendly Community Planning and Project Grant program is a partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. This new funding will support the annual distribution and administration of between 20 and 25 grants of up to $20,000 to help establish or continue a variety of projects that support healthy, active seniors.
“We are committed to helping communities represent the needs of all citizens,” said Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors Linda Larson. “When communities plan for all citizens and work to be inclusive, it can really make the difference in the life of a senior and allow them to be more active and engaged with their friends, family, neighbours and service providers.”
All projects are meant to reflect the vision of an age-friendly British Columbia, in which older people are supported to live active, socially engaged and independent lives. A few examples of projects funded last year include: a drop-in seniors’ support centre in the Village of Fraser Lake; a seniors’ bus providing accessible, reliable and affordable transportation options in North Delta; a seniors’ resource fair in Nakusp; and an outdoor gym and wellness program for seniors in the Village of Sayward.
“We are proud to partner with the Province on the Age-friendly Community Planning and Project Grant program,” said Mary Sjostrom, president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. “With changing demographics, communities are looking for ways to improve the services provided to seniors. New funding through this program will allow more communities to complete an age-friendly plan or undertake a project focused on age-friendly communities.”
Applications for Age-friendly Community Planning and Project grants are reviewed by the UBCM, as well as the Ministry of Health, and are scored on a variety of factors, including goals, proposed activities, involvement of seniors and other key partners, as well as budget and innovation and sustainability. Applications for 2014 grants are due Oct. 18, 2013, and applicants will be notified of the status of their application by Nov. 29, 2013.
The Age-friendly Community Planning and Project Grant program was one of government’s platform commitments for seniors and reflects the goals of the BC Family Agenda, which supports seniors by encouraging healthy, active aging.