We would like to thank our nominator, Heather Trelevan, facilitator of the Seniors Network, for bringing our Seniors Activity Group Eh! (SAGE) to the attention of the Municipal Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness (MACAI). The MACAI graciously recognized us for the inclusive nature of our programming. Our seniors are great at including all visitors to the Centre in their gatherings and especially folks who might have a personal connection to the issues of dementia and caregiving. They have a lot of collective wisdom to share and never hesitate to embrace new people. And they also share their snacks! You can learn more about SAGE and MACAI by following the links.
The following is an excerpt from an Alzheimer Society of B.C. newsletter.
The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is dedicated to helping people with dementia
During B.C. Seniors' Week, June 2 – 8, 2019, we celebrate the contributions seniors have made to communities around B.C. The Alzheimer Society of B.C. offers opportunities to get involved in your community and support other people affected by dementia. To access information about volunteering, fundraising, advocating and donating, click here.
Here are the education workshops, webinars and support groups taking place in the North Fraser this month.
Shaping the journey: Living with dementia | Explore the dementia journey in a supportive environment with others going through similar experiences. Learn about the brain and dementia, strategies for coping with changes, maximizing quality of life and planning for the future.
Coquitlam: Five Wednesdays, June 4 – July 2, from 1 – 3 p.m.
Glen Pine Pavillion, 1200 Glen Pine Court
Sessions are free to attend; donations appreciated. Pre-registration is required and programs with low registration will be cancelled. To register, call 604-298-0780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travelling with a person living with dementia | This facilitated discussion will discuss the challenges and safety concerns that may present when travelling with a person who is living with dementia. Learn strategies to help your trip go more smoothly.
Wednesday, June 12, 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. (choose the time most convenient for you)
Sessions are free and no registration necessary.
How to connect:
We will soon be changing our webinar platform. Visit alzbc.org/tele-workshops for up-to-date information about connecting. For more information, email email@example.com.
If you are affected by dementia, you are not alone. There are others to share the journey with you. We offer support groups for care partners and for people living with early-stage dementia. Learn, laugh and help others through mutual understanding. Contact us to find a support group in your community or see the First Link® Bulletin to see the support groups in your community.
The First Link® Team
Alzheimer Society of B.C.
Fraser Resource Centre
201 – 15127 100th Avenue
Surrey, B.C. V3R 0N9
Main office: 604-449-5000
Twitter: @AlzheimerBC | Facebook: AlzheimerBC
Charitable Registration Number: 11878 4891 RR0001
Alzheimer Society of B.C.
300-828 W. 8th Avenue,
Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 1E2
Charitable registration number:
11878 4891 RR0001Phone: 604-681-6530
Alzheimer Society of B.C. © 2019 All rights reserved.
The CEED Centre Society is launching the Velorganix youth eco-employment program, which will use the great cargo e-trike pictured here for a few different services. We are asking for your ideas on what those might be and how you'd like them to operate.
The cargo e-trike will be pedaled by youth, who are assisted by a 500W electric motor. It can carry up to 315 kg of people and cargo. The youth will be learning essential work skills.
We think that seniors living in the downtown area without access to automobiles might like to be transported to local shopping sites or to have their groceries delivered. The seat flips up to store grocery bags. Would you use a service like this and what would you expect it to look like?
If you operate a local business or work in an office setting, would you like us to pick up your organic waste and compost it? You can help with climate change mitigation and adaptation by using our cargo e-trike and youth services to substitute for tasks and transport for which you previously used a fossil fuel vehicle. Give us a call or drop us a line with your ideas.
Teesha passed away at the age of 27 in February 2019 in the course of providing aid to local homeless youth subject to domestic human trafficking. She dedicated her life to helping youth, like her, who experience trauma in its various forms.
Her living goal was to become the youth worker that she never experienced and to provide a safe place for trafficked youth to live. Over the course of her short life, she stayed at virtually every youth shelter in the Lower Mainland and found them inadequate because they only shelter at night, their locations are disclosed publicly and known to exploiters, and youth are discharged to homelessness after 7 days unless they have a way to pay.
Teesha worked tirelessly to educate service providers about youth-friendly mental health approaches and appropriate help for youth under active exploitation.
She knew that only a youth safe house--in an undisclosed location (to the general public), with no barriers to access (no eligibility criteria beyond age: 13-24), and the ability to keep the youth safe 24/7 for extended periods of time--would be sufficient to provide safety for youth under active exploitation.
Now that Teesha can no longer advocate for homeless youth, which exist in alarming numbers in the Lower Mainland despite a ministry offering barrier-ed services, it is up to each citizen to take up her legacy and advocate for the creation of a youth safe house system for BC that works.
A number of people that knew Teesha are raising funds to help support a future youth safe house. The funds will be dedicated to providing amenities for youth while they reside in the safe house long enough to emerge from survival mode and are ready for secondary supportive housing.
On May 11, 2019, Carol Waters will be hosting a donation-based Afternoon of Healing at the CEED Centre Neighbourhood House if you are interested.
Bonding and Bridging the Key to improving Social Ills
George Monbiot is one of the rare journalists that delve into the heart of matters and do their research before setting words to the page. As such, he is continually reflecting modern society back to itself and pointing toward the underlying causes of its woes and the sometimes obvious and sometimes obscure solutions that some of our brighter lights have devised. Monbiot writes for the Guardian, a United Kingdom based newspaper. While many of his columns are written in the context of the UK, they are often applicable to other Western nations and even global audiences at times. In books and articles, he often addresses the topics of climate change, rewilding and government malaise.
On January 24, 2019, the Guardian published his article entitled Mutually Assured Salvation (https://www.monbiot.com/2019/01/28/mutually-assured-salvation/), which tells how one of London's poorest and socially challenged boroughs (municipality in local BC terms) in just one year has engaged more than 2,000 of its citizens to improve the circumstances of themselves and their town. Being Monbiot, he also shows how other places can employ their methods and principles. Places like Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and other BC municipalities should take note.
He reports that the state took over many parts of social welfare in the mid-part of the last century, often to good effect. He characterizes this as top-down protection. But when austerity measures inevitably resulted in the withdrawal of those services at the end of the century, not only did the citizenry loose the services, they also lost their bottom-up resiliency, the ways in which society traditionally took care of itself.
"The best antidote to the rising tide of demagoguery and reaction is a politics of belonging, based on strong and confident local communities" suggests Monbiot. "Those who study community life talk about two kinds of social network: bonding and bridging. Bonding networks are those created within homogeneous groups. While they can overcome social isolation, they can also foster suspicion and prejudice, while limiting opportunities for change. Bridging networks bring people from different groups together. Research suggests that they can reduce crime and unemployment and, by enhancing community voice, improve the quality of government."
Monbiot writes how the Participatory City Foundation researched a set of common principles for successful community
projects and set up a five-year experiment called Every One, Every Day, to explore how to create bridging networks. It involved simple projects with high visibility in physical locations, such as two storefronts that serve as meeting spaces for discussions and projects. They are run on principles of inclusiveness and seek to "attract talent rather than meet particular needs. They are also opening maker spaces furnished with laser cutters, tools, sewing machines and kitchens. The citizens that gathered there immediately sectioned off a childcare area and overcame a major barrier to female participation in new businesses, the lack of affordable daycare. Consequently, they have spontaneously created numerous businesses and projects, many of them inspired and led by women.
"There are welcoming committees for new arrivals to the street, community potluck meals, cooking sessions and street lunches. There’s a programme to turn boring patches of grass into community gardens, play corners and outdoor learning centres. There’s a bee school and a chicken school (teaching urban animal husbandry), sewing and knitting sessions, places for freelance workers to meet and collaborate, computing and coding workshops, storytelling for children, singing sessions, a games cafe. A local football coach has started training people in the streets. There’s a film studio and a DIY film festival, tuition for spoken word poets and a scheme for shutting streets so that children can play after school. Local people have leapt on the opportunities the new system has created."
In just one short year, people that were previously alienated by their neighbourhoods and seeking opportunities to leave have started to express the desire to stay and are increasingly comfortable with diversity that makes up their neighbourhood because they have opportunities to meet each other.
Here in Canada, our own area of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is no stranger to the strains posed by the collapse of top-down social protection and the loss of the traditional village rally around a cause, due to the well documented shift in social conventions, reduced family cohesion and the new economic paradigms of the digital age. It can be directly observed by the hate speech toward homeless people and people suffering from mental health challenges and addiction emanating from people themselves one pay cheque away from the street. If we were to create a local version of the Every one, Every Day program, we would likely start to heal these rifts and re-learn the community resilience that once characterized many communities, or communities within communities.
What we now need is a champion to serve as the catalyst. Are you that champion?
We are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of Get Curious in January 2019. The parent support group will provide a space to network with other people supporting youth with mental health challenges and learn about new approaches. The monthly gathering will feature a round table check-in and then delve into specific topics. The group will be facilitated by Teesha Sharma and Christian Cowley, who offer a similar support group for youth experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
The Get Curious group will meet on the second Wednesday of the month from 7-9 pm at the CEED Centre Neighbourhood House. Contact us at 604-463-2229 or firstname.lastname@example.org for your free registration.
We are so pleased to celebrate the recognition of our very own Teesha Sharma as the first Maple Ridge Citizen of the Year Under 40 for her tireless volunteer efforts to aid homeless youth in our community. At the annual fundraiser, the Maple Ridge Community Foundation (MRCF) also recognized Dr. Biju Mathew as the 2018 Citizen of the Year for Lifetime Achievements from among amazing finalists Julie Koehn and Kim Dumore. This year marks the first that the MRCF has drawn attention to a younger set of outstanding citizens, including youth under 19. Eight-year-old marvel Ryder Moore was singled out for his Ryder Rainboots campaigns and other work, which he initiated with the help of his family at age six. The two finalists alongside him were Gurleen Goraya and Marlowe Evans, who have also already racked up impressive records as teenagers.
Teesha was nominated because she assists youth in our community every single day and night. While she uses her work day to improve the mental health of youth from all walks of life, she dedicates her free time after work to supporting homeless youth that lack any other form of support. Many are subject to human trafficking and exploitation.
Teesha is profiled in a video commissioned by the MRCF. Some of her motivation for helping youth day and night was revealed when she said "to be the worker that I always wanted myself, and create services that are barrier-free, the ones that a youth doesn't need anything to access."
The CEED Centre Society is proud to have the volunteer efforts of Teesha more broadly recognized in the community. She was a nominated finalist previously for the YMCA's Power of Peace award. She is one of the founding youth supporters of the Youth Wellness Centre and is playing key roles in the creation of Foundry, a one-stop, wrap-around service hub for youth. Despite having a diagnosis of PTSD from years of abuse as a youth, which makes it challenging to appear in large groups of people, Teesha is a regular contributor to provincial and even international mental health conferences, sharing her knowledge of youth-friendly approaches for service providers, including sensitive issues such as self-harm and suicide.
Teesha is currently spearheading the campaign to create a youth safe house system for B.C. While a limited number of youth shelters are in place, there are no safe houses in undisclosed locations in which a youth under 18 or younger can remain in safety 24/7. And Maple Ridge youth do not have access to a shelter anywhere closer than 35 km away. Together, we can change this.
Tweets from Executive Director Christian Cowley