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Federal funding helps County seniors connect

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis with Community Care for Seniors Executive Director Debbie MacDonald Moynes and Board President Margaret Werkhoven.

A funding boost from the federal government will help County seniors connect with others face-to-face and over the internet.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis delivered a $25,000 New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) grant to the Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors office in Picton on Wednesday.

The funds will go toward social recreational programs and opportunities at the King Street building and beyond its doors in public areas such as the County’s recreation halls.

“These funds will allow us to move some programming out into community hubs,” said Debbie MacDonald Moynes, executive director. “We like to be able to go where ourseniors are.”

The funds will also help County seniors be close to family members who live far away as Community Care will purchase some ipad tablet computers and together with volunteers, will help seniors use real-time applications like “Face Time” and Skype to video chat with family members.

The opportunity is also a good one to engage volunteers, said Margaret Werkhoven, Community Care board’s president. “Social engagment and volunteerism are vital to helping seniors stay healthy and connected to their communities.”

Ellis said he is gratified by the impressive work Community Care for Seniors does in Prince Edward County.

“It’s work that engages seniors, and benefits so many community members,” said Ellis. “It’s work that creates fundamental change that will have a lasting impact on your community for future generations.”

He spoke of government need to partner with communities and local organizations to work at a grassroots level to better support seniors.

“Projects like this make good sense because they are designed for, and by, seniors,” said Ellis. “Seniors who participate in NHSP projects are involved from the start of each project and have the chance to provide input from their own perspective to help shape the project so it aligns with specific needs.”

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