Twenty-eight projects that support social well-being have been approved to receive over $1 million in funding through Columbia Basin Trust’s Social Grants. Click here to view all projects.
“Through these grants, we’re able to help social service organizations meet the needs of Basin communities and residents,” said Liz Gillis, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Social Initiatives. “These projects will positively impact health and well-being throughout the Basin.”
One of the successful recipients is Creston’s Valley Community Services Society. Its project involves educating families and expectant mothers about how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy food; this will help them reduce the financial costs of obtaining nutritious food and will improve the health of all family members.
“Counsellors and facilitators of the programs we currently provide have noticed an ever-growing trend of families and pregnant mothers struggling to afford to eat,” said Justine Keirn, Director of Finance and Administration. “In response to the ever-increasing cost of food and the impact this is having on families and their children, this project focuses on educating parents of young children about ways to have a secure, sustainable, self-reliant source of food.”
The Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley also received support for its project, which involves training the staff and volunteers of hospice societies around the region on how to provide bereavement support to specialized groups. The society will also be setting up bereavement support groups in the Columbia Valley for those affected by death due to traumatic events or suicide.
“These support groups will enable people who are bereaved for traumatic reasons to explore their grief and go through the mourning process in a safe environment,” said Maria Kliavkoff, Executive Director. “The groups are an important way of normalizing the experience, working through the pain and minimizing incidents of depression in our community. We will also expand the training of our own staff and volunteers, and those of other hospices, so that they are able to provide support to these specialized groups.”
Another project is supporting West Kootenay Boundary social service organizations. Called Establishing a Regional Data Gathering System, this project is part of the larger project PRISM: Partners in a Regional Integrated Service Model. Through PRISM, 14 non-profit social service organizations are coming together to organize and streamline their services. The goal is to have integrated service streams across the region in areas such as family support services, victim services, early years services and more.
“Currently, each organization delivers similar services and yet collects data a little differently,” said Rona Park, Executive Director, Nelson Community Services Centre and PRISM Co-Lead. “Through collaboration, we will develop a regional system to collect, share and analyze data. This will enable us to generate more meaningful information, deliver more consistent programming across the region and better support the health, well-being and resilience of some of our region’s most vulnerable residents.”
Since the program was launched in 2012, the Trust has been able to distribute slightly over $4 million to improving social well-being in our communities. Granting decisions are made by the Social Grants Program Selection Committee, a volunteer group of Basin residents that includes individuals who have experience and expertise in the social sector and individuals who have broader community development experience.
Social Grants is one way the Trust is assisting communities to improve the social well-being of residents in the Basin. Learn more about the goals and objectives of the Trust’s Social Initiatives in the Social Strategic Plan 2014–2019.