The exterior of a health centre on Lasqueti Island is complete and this summer work will begin on the first of six elder cottages at the Judith Fisher Centre.
The Lasqueti Last Resort Society (LLRS) has been fundraising to build a health centre with elder care since its inception in 2002. Last fall, work began at the Judith Fisher Centre, a piece of land that was donated to the society, which will eventually house the health centre and six elder cottages.
Currently there is no health facility on the Island, and a nurse from Vancouver Island travels to Lasqueti every Thursday. Once the 2,500 square-foot health centre’s interior is complete, it will have a nursing station, meeting room, a respite suite so people can return to Island rather than recover in a hospital. It will offer a space for a number of the Island’s practitioners, such as massage therapists and kinesiologists. “It would be a real boon to the island and [practitioners] to actually have a space where they could work out of,” said Melinda Auerbach, Fundraising Coordinator. “So one of the rooms would be designated for them to use as a treatment room.”
The health centre is being built with volunteer labour and has been funded by local donations and grants. Businesses in Parksville Qualicum Beach have helped by giving generous discounts on materials, the LLRS said in a press release.
The construction of the first elder cottage will be about 600 sq. ft. in size and it is slated to start this summer thanks to a large private donation. These cottages will be for elder people who don't want to leave Lasqueti but are not able to stay in their homes any longer, Auerbach explained. The cottages are closer to the Island's services and in a place where the nurse and local people will be able to easily check in on them.
Currently the LLRS has about 50 per cent of the total funds needed to complete the health centre. The group is actively fundraising to make up the required funds and a large donation could allow a family to name the health centre.
On July 26 a celebration will be held at the Judith Fisher Centre to celebrate the progress to date and thank the volunteers and donors.
Auerbach said they hope to have another celebration next summer to celebrate a fully operational health centre.
For information about the project or to donate call Auerbach at 250-333-8898 or visit the website at http://healthcentre.lasqueti.ca.