Volunteering Can Be Good For Your Health!
Submitted by Jan Perrault, Volunteer Column Writer
Senior Advisory Committee – Township of Tiny
I’m sure you have noticed by now that the days are getting much shorter. It’s quite a contrast to the long summer days with the sun setting much later. We’ve all set our clocks back and perhaps feel like hibernating until Spring! Well, since we don’t have that choice, there are still ways to keep our energy and mood elevated.
Did you know that volunteering has its social, mental and physical benefits for people of all ages? Furthermore, there are many benefits particularly for the senior population. One of the biggest difficulties, especially after retirement, is staying social. Volunteering can pull us out of isolation, even if it’s only for a handful of hours a week. It also feels good to give back to the community. So many retirees have a wealth of skills from all their years of employment that can be shared once they stop working. Or, volunteering is a great way to learn a new skill that your previous decades of work wouldn’t allow. Personally, I have been retired for a couple of years now and I’m just beginning to offer some of my time to volunteering. This article is written on a volunteer basis and it’s very rewarding to know that I’m helping get vital information out to the senior population!
The townships in the area use volunteers on a regular basis. The Township of Tiny has a free notification system that informs you about municipal information, including volunteer opportunities. Sign up by visiting www.tinyconnect.ca or complete a registration form at the Municipal office. Volunteer opportunities are also listed on the township website. The Township has a comprehensive training program for all positions. Springwater and Tay list volunteer opportunities on their websites; www.springwater.ca and www.Tay.ca.
Tiny will be offering a new program called, “Connecting through Cooking”, and they are looking for volunteers. Starting in January, older adults (55+) and youth (ages 8 to 21) can sign up together for cooking classes. This program aims to teach young people and older adults to cook and shop for healthy, affordable and accessible food, while learning from one another and making new friends and connections. Each session includes a locally sourced food box, loaner equipment, and cooking recipes. Lessons and menus will be developed using Tiny’s strong cultural roots. Each twosome will leave with one ‘Make and Take’ to enjoy at their own leisure. This program will be offered at the Wyebridge Community Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. The best part of all is that an actual Chef, Andre Sanche, will be the instructor! The cost is $20 per participant. So, if you are interested in helping out with this valuable program, visit www.tinyconnect.ca or call 705-526-4202 ex 271.
If you are not intending to volunteer, but still feel the need to venture out, this time of year always offers wonderful Christmas activities! For example, to kick off the season, Tiny will be having their Tree Lighting festivity on November 29th at Perkinsfield Park from 5-6:30 pm. Furthermore, Penetanguishene will be celebrating their Festival of Lights on December 2nd from 5-8 pm. It will take place at Town Dock and Penetanguishene Centennial Museum & Archives. The Wyevale Santa Claus Parade will be held on December 3rd in Wyevale starting at 7 pm. There will also be various other Christmas parades, so keep a lookout for information in your local papers!
For your information, following is a list of readily available resources and services:
CT Link – a community transportation service for Simcoe residents for medical (priority) and other appointments within Simcoe County and other destinations. If wheelchair assistance is required, advise when booking. Schedule a pickup via online to ctlink.ca or Call 2-1-1 for assistance.
Ongoing transportation needs are available through Community Reach and can be requested by phone at 705-528-6999, or email email@example.com.
Health and Support Programs:
Telehealth – A free and confidential service. Call 1-866-797-0000 to speak with a
Rocket Doctor – To speak with a doctor during off hours, and other than for emergencies, contact Rocket Doctor at 1-867-670-2273. This is a free and confidential service with a quick turnaround time.
OntarioCommunitySupport.ca – the Ontario Community Support Association is coordinating programs to help vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities across Ontario. Need help requesting a service Dial 2-1-1.
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Audrey Hepburn