Pelham, Grimsby, Lincoln receive funding boost for seniors’ programs
MPP Sam Oosterhoff announces funding for Niagara West communities at Pelham community centre
MPP Sam Oosterhoff announced Ontario is investing $14.1 million to support more than 300 Seniors Active Living Centre programs in communities across the province including in Niagara in the communities of Pelham, Grimsby and Lincoln. He made the announcement in front of a group of seniors and Pelham town staff at the Meridian Community Centre in Fonthill. – Sarah Ferguson/Torstar
Three communities in the Niagara West riding have received a funding boost to support seniors’ programs.
Ontario is investing $14.1 million to support more than 300 Active Living Seniors’ programs across the province, including Pelham, Grimsby and Lincoln.
MPP Sam Oosterhoff made the announcement Wednesday morning to a group of seniors and Pelham town staff gathered at the Meridian Community Centre in Fonthill.
He said $52,727 has been earmarked for Pelham, $52,727 for Grimsby and $42,027 for Lincoln.
Julie Cook, Pelham’s recreation, culture and wellness programmer, said the money will be put to good use.
“When we opened the seniors active living lounge here at the community centre, we took furniture from anywhere we could find. Now, we’ll be able to purchase furniture with seniors’ needs in mind,” she said.
“We’ll buy furniture that’s comfortable for seniors, things like armchairs that seniors can get in and out of easily.”
The money will also be used to bring in speakers for seniors’ programs as well as assisted hearing devices for seniors who are hard of hearing to use during programs, including one planned for later this month that will educate seniors about scams. The program will be led by a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer.
Lori Laird, recreation coordinator, said the funding the Town of Lincoln received will be used for upgrades at the Lincoln Community Centre and for adding more programs.
She said the community centre hosts the very active Lincoln Seniors’ Club, which has about 300 members 65 and older that enjoy pickle ball and carpet bowling among other programs.
“We’re very appreciative,” Laird said of the funding, and added, “The Lincoln Seniors’ Club is a very important part of the community.”
Sarah Sweeney, director of recreation, facilities and culture for the Town of Grimsby, said the funds the municipality received will be used to replaced tables, chairs and to improve fitness equipment at the community centre as well as support seniors’ programming.
“It’s all the things that are important and used frequently that need to be replaced,” she said, and added that Grimsby is grateful to benefit from the province’s investment.
“This funding and other sources like it keeps costs affordable for facilities while supporting important programs in the community.”
Speaking about the funding announcement, Oosterhoff said the funding will go a long way toward reducing the strain on the health-care system while ensuring strong, vibrant and healthy communities.
“When I ran for office, I ran on a pledge to focus on things that impact people on a daily basis as well as honouring the dignity and sacrifices made by earlier generations and one way of honouring earlier generations is to provide programs and services to help seniors stay active, socially connected and healthy,” he said.
He noted facilities like the Meridian Community Centre are a place for people to gather and enjoy recreational programs and enjoy an opportunity to be active and social members of the community.
“(Seniors’ programs) are vital not just for reducing strain on the health-care system but ensuring we have strong, vibrant and healthy communities,” he said.