You could call it a belated Christmas gift … by about a month.
Eleven local organizations received Wellness Fund grants Jan. 22, during an afternoon event at the People’s Place Library’s community room, hosted by Antigonish Town and County Community Health Board (CHB).
“Grants are offered each year to advance community health board priorities using a population health-based approach,” a release, to accompany the event, noted.
“These funds support work to address the social determinants of health; the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. Wellness Fund grants are made possible through annual funding to Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) from the Department of Health and Wellness.”
Organizations and their programs/projects receiving grants on the day were; ‘Action 2018’ from Antigonish Town and County Mental Health Family Support Group, ‘FLAG’ (Families Learning Across Generations) from Antigonish County Adult Learning Association (ACALA), ‘Global Connection Buddy Program’ from St.F.X. Internationalization, ‘Healthy Relationships for Youth’ from the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre, ‘Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Access for our Community’ by Antigonish Food Security Association, ‘Keep Antigonish Well Pilot Exercise/Wellness Program’ by Keep Well Antigonish, ‘Keep L’Arche Active, Healthy and Connected’ by L’Arche Antigonish Foundation, ‘Sensory Storytime’ by Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, ‘The Peoples’ School on Poverty: Exploring Policy Options through a Rural Lens’ by the Antigonish Poverty Reduction Coalition, ‘Unama’ki Riders’ from Unama’ki Sports Association, and ‘VON SMART (Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together) exercise program’ from VON Antigonish.
“The Wellness Fund program is for non-profit groups working to improve health in their communities and address the health priorities identified by the CHBs, in their current community health plan,” the release further noted.
“The Antigonish Town and County CHB received a total of 22 applications this year and 11 were funded with the amount of Wellness Funds available.”
One of the recipient representatives, Colleen Cameron from the Antigonish Poverty Reduction Coalition, is quoted in the release.
“Nova Scotia now has the third-highest provincial child poverty rate and the highest rate in Atlantic Canada,” Cameron said. “Wellness funding from the Antigonish Town and County Community Health Board will assist the Coalition to work with communities to help understand why and how children and families experience poverty in order to identify strategies to reduce poverty.”
Cameron also spoke during the presentation event and CHB co-ordinator Patrick Mullally said the afternoon was a good opportunity for the 11 groups to learn a little bit more about one another and their respective projects.
“The day went well,” Mullally said, as recipients continued to chat around the community room.
“The organizations were very appreciative with the amount of funding we were able to provide and they came away more informed about each other’s projects, which were funded.
“So it was really a day of sharing, learning from each other, some networking taking place, and now they can go forward with their funding.”
Mullally said he’ll be overseeing similar events for Guysborough (Jan. 31) and Strait/Richmond (Feb. 6) in the coming weeks.
For anyone wishing to know more about the CHB Wellness Fund program, including putting forth an application for next year’s grants, visit their website (communityhealthboards.ns.ca/wellness-funds) or contact Mullally at 902-867-4500 ext.4272 or by email at [email protected]