Parksville Qualicum Beach groups receive wellness grants

Island Health announces funding through community program

Two local groups received grants from Island Health Monday (April 30).

Forward House Community Society and the Oceanside Chapter of Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition both received grants from Island Health’s Community Wellness grant program.

Forward House received funding for its Looking Forward to Giving Back program while the Oceanside Chapter of Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition received funding for its Vancouver Island Fall Bike to Work & School Weeks. Meribeth Burton with Island Health said Forward House received $11,598 in funding and Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition received $6,000 in funding.

Sharon Welch, executive director of Forward House, told The NEWS they will be bringing an employee of the Career Centre to Forward House.

“She’ll be spending a day a week here, working on site with our clients who are looking to find volunteer opportunities and employment opportunities within the community.”

Welch said the Career Centre staffing would take place in three, 10-week sessions, with additional support provided to clients by Forward House staff.

“Our clients trust us, they find this a safe space, and so to be able to bring those services here makes it more likely they will access them,” said Welch.

The Island Health Community Wellness Granting program, according to its website, provides opportunities to create local partnerships to address the health and wellness of the population. It has four geographic areas; Parksville Qualicum Beach is part of Geography 2, which received a total of $144,437 in funding.

The program is now in its second year. In December, 2017, Island Health issued a call for applications to local governments, community organizations and Aboriginal communities. Grant application criteria included healthy aging, positive mental health, social and family connectedness, healthy eating and physical activity.

— with files from J.R. Rardon

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