Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grant Stories
The Neighbourhood Small Grant program was accepting applications when the pandemic was declared and the program had to pivot to adapt to this new normal. The Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grant program started April 15th, for "virtual" gatherings (following social distancing guidelines) and we have had some wonderful projects in West Vancouver and Lions Bay. Here are some to check out.
"It's a Wonderful World" Art for Seniors
During this period of isolation, Maggie's usual volunteer commitments disappeared overnight. Then our Seniors' Activity Centre asked local artists to donate cards to be included in needy seniors' food boxes - and she knew exactly what she wanted to do. Maggie created small watercolour cards, tied with bright satin ribbons. The paintings are all of happy moments - kids with balloons or brightly coloured kites, ice dancers, dancers having a ball on the beach with coloured scarves, tambourines, and crazy hats!
In this small way, for people who are likely shut indoors more than usual, Maggie is trying to bring the outside world into their inside space - and into their hearts. The whole idea of this "It's a Wonderful World" project is to bring a smile to their day.
Brighten a Seniors Day with a Plant
A lovely group of residents purchased 100 flowering plants from Limelight Floral Design (at a discount) and delivered them to the seniors at Hollyburn House to brighten their day.
Writers Support Circle
This writers support circle used to meet in person, but due to COVID-19 they went online. Their creativity and talent really shines through and you can see their latest episode here. Check back for a special West Vancouver edition later this year.
Art From the Heart
The “Art from the Heart” project was done by a wonderful West Van student, and her friends, who are making art and messages to share with vulnerable and isolated seniors and others in West Van. Thank you ‘M’ for your caring, dedication and thoughtfulness!
Free On-line Fitness Classes
When "A"s gym closed she found many of her clients were finding it difficult to workout by themselves. Being passionate about fitness, "A" started a free online fitness class and will continue offering the free class as long as people are staying away from the gym.
Elders Wellness Bundles
Wellness bundles for Elders on the Squamish Nation were made and delivered by wonderful volunteers. The bundles included items like: sage smudging sticks, puzzle books, small crafts, tea, cookies, flowers, sanitizer, magazines and grooming supplies. It also included information on where to access mental and grocery supports through Squamish Nation. It is simple but brings a lot of joy to the Elders!
Community Garden Group
A vibrant gardening group with 70 members had flourished to include speakers meetings, gardening activities, field trips and social gatherings. With the pandemic the group wanted to stay active and connected but needed to change how they operated to stay within social distance guidelines. They were able to do this by having monthly e-newsletters, Zoom presentations, e-question and answer sessions by email or as a Facebook group, and a group seed planting day with free seeds for the community garden plot holders (with social distance guidelines). This no barrier activity has been able to keep the community connected and brings pure joy to the members.
Still Looking for Ideas
Some projects we've heard of are (just remember, they need to be free to attend and within social distance guidelines):
- Online fitness, art, games, flower arranging or cooking classes - perhaps drop off a kit for your participants prior to the online sessions!
- Care packages to vulnerable seniors or youth (within social distance guidelines)
- Cards and messages for vulnerable seniors
- Professionals offering webinars/video series with topics such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), learning at home, finances, music concerts, theatre productions, and fine art talks - ideally interactive with the audience