Hope/Surrey – Fraser Health has awarded $500,000 to community organizations in Hope, to create homegrown solutions to some of the area’s biggest health issues. The decision to provide this funding comes after results from a recent Fraser Health My Health My Community survey showed that while Hope ranks strongly in some areas, the community ranks lower in other health indicators including life expectancy, chronic disease, mental health, smoking and physical activity when compared to other Fraser Health municipalities.
“I am pleased to see the collaboration between the District of Hope, Fraser Health and many community stakeholders result in the awarding of $500,000 in ongoing funds to support the health of our community,” said Laurie Throness, MLA for Chilliwack-Hope. “This funding will support strategies to improve the overall health of residents, young and old, as the projects come to fruition in the coming months.”
“The enthusiastic response we received from community organizations in Hope was truly remarkable,” said Fraser Health president and CEO Michael Marchbank. “The awarding of these grants could not have happened without the hard work and dedication of our steering committee, the District of Hope, electoral regions of the Fraser Valley Regional District and our community partners.”
Successful grant applicants include:
· Hope and Area Transition Society – The creation of a collaborative mobile youth health and wellness outreach program ($75,000; ongoing)
· Read Right Society – The creation of a volunteer coordination program to facilitate and coordinate engagement of local seniors and newcomers to become more involved in community activities and act as a resource to support, befriend, and mentor people of all ages ($50,000; ongoing)
· Hope and Area Transition Society – Expansion of early intervention programs, addressing fundamental needs in Mental Health and Substance Use such as education and awareness in all communities from Hope and the Fraser Canyon. This will include a mobile outreach team addressing food, shelter and recreational opportunities, and promoting healthy living and social connectedness ($50,000; ongoing)
· Hope Medical Centre and the Fraser Canyon Clinic – The creation of a coordinated and collaborative approach to connect health services to the residents of Hope and the Fraser Canyon. Integration of currently existing community programs focused on chronic disease prevention and improving accessibility to healthy living initiatives, ($50,000; ongoing)
· Hope Care Transit Society – Expansion of the capacity of current community transportation services through the Fraser Canyon ($50,000; ongoing)
· AdvantageHOPE – Development of accessible pedestrian connections and a Cycle Network Plan from the Silver Creek, Kawkawa Lake, and Ross Road neighborhoods into downtown Hope ($25,000; one-time)
· District of Hope – Establishment of regularly scheduled regional transit connecting Hope to the rest of the Fraser Valley through a BC Transit bus running from Hope to Chilliwack ($25,000; ongoing).
In addition, $50,000 in micro health grants have been awarded to several organizations in support of community-based projects that benefit the overall health of Hope and the surrounding communities of the Fraser Canyon.
Community organizations submitted proposals for each of the strategies, via an expression of interest process. These strategies were evaluated on their adherence to the guiding principles such as affordability, sustainability, achievability, partnerships, and impact, as well as the organization’s ability to build partnerships within the community.
“I am thrilled to see the hard work of Fraser Health and our community partners result in the awarding of $500,000 that will bring positive change to our community,” said District of Hope Mayor Wilfried Vicktor. “This funding will benefit our residents for years to come and I am looking forward to seeing the results these strategies achieve.”
To complement these strategies, Fraser Health has hired a Hope-based healthy living coordinator to plan, organize and implement local population health approaches that address behavioural risk factors including tobacco reduction, food security, and physical activity and health inequities that contribute to chronic disease.
“This initiative and opportunity truly demonstrates that it takes a community to support wellness and a collaborative and collective approach to improving the health of our residents in Hope and the Fraser Canyon” said Petra Pardy, executive director for the Health Services of Chilliwack, Hope, Agassiz and the Fraser Canyon.