Osprey foundation spurs project to help Nelson area seniors

Osprey Community Foundation is initiating a project that could make life a little easier for struggling Nelson area seniors

Nelson's Osprey Community Foundation is investing in seniors.

Nelson's Osprey Community Foundation is investing in seniors.

Osprey Community Foundation is initiating a project that could make life a little easier for struggling local seniors wishing to live independently as long as possible.

Osprey is currently soliciting proposals for a three-year, $270,000 pilot project that will be jointly funded by the community foundation and Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).

CBT will be contributing $100,000 in funding over a three-year period. The project will tackle some of the priorities that emerged from an assessment of seniors’ needs that Osprey undertook last winter. In particular, it will address the need for improved access to community support services.

Osprey commissioned the assessment so that it could be more effective in allocating money it has available for granting each year to seniors’ needs. The research included a survey and community engagement process to determine what would make Nelson and Areas E and F more senior friendly. The recommendations supported the basic desire for seniors’ independence and the choice to live in one’s own home.Community support services were one of the top priorities, and include a range of services from laundry, cooking and shopping assistance to help filling our forms to regular telephone check-ins.

Osprey has now launched the next step: soliciting proposals to take the results of this assessment and put something on the ground to achieve positive results for seniors.

“This project could be the start of something very exciting,” says Osprey Board member Nelson Ames. “We are looking for an organization to develop a service model and implement a plan of action to improve what currently exists for seniors in this area. The plan could involve new services or better coordination and promotion of existing services. It’s about both on-the- ground service delivery and putting into place a long-term, sustainable strategy to serve seniors and make this a more seniors’ friendly community.”

“Of course we can’t provide everything people would like within this budget, but this is an important first step to getting there,” says Ames, who co-chairs the foundation’s Grants Committee. “It’s also an example of how donations to Osprey Community Foundation can make a difference to people living here.”

“Columbia Basin Trust is happy to support the Osprey Community Foundation in their efforts to find more innovative, sustainable ways to support seniors to live more independently in the community,” said Rona Park, Columbia Basin Trust, community liaison. “We felt that this was a unique proposal worth supporting.”

To see a copy of the RFP “Creating an Age-Friendly Community: Addressing the Needs of Seniors in Nelson and Area” as well as the assessment report: “Creating an Age-Friendly Community: Assessing Needs and Priorities,” go to www.ospreycommunityfoundation.ca. Closing date for proposals is April 20th, 2012.

A meeting of potential bidders is schedule for March 14 at 1 p.m.

For further information, contact Vivien Bowers, Executive Director of Osprey Community Foundation, at 250-352-3643 or ED@ospreycommunityfoundation.ca.