What are Community Resources Pop-Ups (Now called STEPs)?
Community Resources Pop-Ups (also known as Lunch and Learn) are events organized by Semiahmoo Seniors with the aim of breaking the isolation of older adults and getting them socialized while they learn about important resources that are available to them in their community.
The Pop-Ups are brought to various neighbourhoods of White Rock and South Surrey, Central Surrey, Guildford, Newton, where a concentration of older adults resides and are held in venues well known to them, such as assembly hall of a church or the amenity room of a residential complex.
The events are two-hours in duration and follow an established format. After they register, participants are encouraged to socialize together, visit various resource tables and gather information. Then, they are invited to pick up a bagged lunch containing healthy food and sit down in a theatre style setting where they can participate in an interactive presentation on a subject relevant to their wellbeing.
Why are the Pop-Ups Important in our Community?
According to Fraser Health Healthy Aging Profile, 2014, the South Surrey/White Rock community contains the highest concentration of older adults and the highest number of seniors living longer of any of the communities served by Fraser Health Authority. The report estimates that the population over 65 in the Fraser Health region will continue to grow exponentially over the next decade. These older adults face many challenges, including discrimination and isolation.
Why is it Important to Break Isolation and Create Inter-generational Connections?
Through their lives, people are surrounded by family members, co-workers and friends. As they get older, they face a different reality. They become empty-nesters; they retire from work; they may lose a partner; they see their circle of friends diminish; they experience more complex health and mobility issues; and some may even face financial difficulties. As a result, many older adults find it difficult to connect with others and become isolated. Isolation is a serious issue as it has the potential to contribute to declining mental and physical health and to open the door to all kinds of abuse. On the other hand, developing meaningful connections is critical to experiencing a good, healthy and joyful life.
In spite of a strong movement toward inclusiveness, ageist attitudes still prevail in Canadian society. Seniors face barriers such as being overlooked for employment or being refused tenancy, further exacerbating the challenges that they already experience in our community. The Pop-Ups aim at addressing these issues by providing opportunities for intergenerational exposure which is important in creating an inclusive community where people of all ages interact together and appreciate their respective value.
How are the Pop-Ups Funded?
In 2016, Semiahmoo Seniors received a grant from the Government of Canada’s New Horizon Program to fund twelve Community Resources Pop-Up events in White Rock and South Surrey. In addition, several individual volunteers and organizations generously contributed their time and resources to make the Pop-Ups possible for 845 people in our community to connect together and learn from each other.
In 2017, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation awarded Semiahmoo Seniors a grant to continue the events into 2019. For 2019, a new grant from the Government of Canada’s New Horizon Program has been received to fund twelve STEPs events in White Rock South Surrey, Central Surrey, Guildford, and Newton. Hence, these STEPs events are FREE!
Semiahmoo Seniors Planning Table recognizes and appreciates all the financial and in-kind support of various members of our community.
When is the Next Pop-Up?
The next event will take place July 9, 2019. Everyone in the community regardless of age and background is welcome to attend. Stay tuned for more detailed information. The STEPs will take place on a monthly basis, as follows. To register, please call Comfort Keepers at 604-531-8653 or email Semiahmoo Seniors.
|Sept 27 2019||Newton Seniors Centre|
|Oct 9 2019||Guildford Rec Centre|
|Nov 7 2019||Chuck Bailey / City Centre|
|Dec tbd||South Surrey Rec Centre|
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.