Seniors’ Centre for Excellence seeks support to help fund program coordinator

KENILWORTH – The Mapleton-based Seniors’ Centre for Excellence is again seeking $10,000 from Wellington North to help pay the salary of Glynis Belec, the centre’s ACE (Active, Connected, Engaged) coordinator.

In 2021, the municipalities of Minto, Mapleton and Wellington North each provided $10,000 to fund the position, which was created after the centre’s in-person programs were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March of 2020.

Program coordinator Helen Edwards told council on March 11 about Belec providing Zoom sessions, creating a newsletter and maintaining the group’s social media presence.

“We feel that we provide a really great service for older adults in the community, and we have a lot of representation from Wellington North,” Edwards said in her pitch.

Well-known local senior Kay Ayres, who Edwards called a “cheerleader” for the centre, also spoke at the meeting, telling council how important it is for seniors to have access to the “outside world” within their own homes.

Belec provides instruction on using technology and brings entertainment and cooking and nutrition advice (in conjunction with the Mount Forest Family Health Team), Ayres said.

“The variety of topics that are discussed on Zoom calls, twice a week, just amazes me,” she continued.

“This is township money well-invested in our seniors’ community.” 

Seniors, she added, are paying taxes and not having children that need educating.

And, she said to laughs from council, “most of us, or very few of us, get drunk and disorderly so that you don’t have to supply police services to us.”

“You took my breath away, Kay, with your humour,” Mayor Andy Lennox said. 

“Yay,” Ayres cheered.

Edwards said the Zoom sessions “are a community within themselves” with the time before the sessions begin filled with the seniors checking in on each other. 

“You see people speaking about things that have happened, and how they’re feeling, and sharing other activities that are going on in the community,” Edwards said.

Mapleton and Minto have already committed money in its budget for 2024.

“We have enough money to get through to a certain date this year, of just using [those] funds,” Edwards said.

The centre has applied for the township’s community grant funding, for which allocations will be made later this year.

“When your money pops along, it’ll be just in time,” Edwards said.