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CBT funds 42 projects to boost social well-being

42 projects aimed at improving the quality of life and enhancing social well-being will receive a share of over $800,000 from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).

“Residents told us that improving social well-being in Basin communities continues to be a priority and is dependent on many factors, including having access to supports and resources, overcoming barriers like poverty, and feeling like you’re included in and belong in your community,” said Nicole MacLellan, Delivery of Benefits Manager with Columbia Basin Trust. “Each of these projects focuses on addressing social challenges to enhance the lives of people in the Basin.”

In Cranbrook, two projects are set to receive a combined amount of almost $44,000. CBT said $25,000 will go to Community Connections Society of Southeast BC to provide short-term counseling and crisis intervention.

A further $18,945 will be used by the Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays. The grant will be used to increase social inclusion, connection and supports for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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In Fernie, the Trust has given a $52,143 grant to the Columbia Basin Family Resouce Society for a project meant to establish a support group for men who are at risk of social isolation.

CBT said it will provide $29,000 to the Caregivers Network for East Kootenay Seniors Society. The grant funding will go to expand a project that was piloted in Cranbrook after most in-person services were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An online forum was set up to help seniors stay connected, which will now be expanded across the Columbia Basin. The Conversation Café will bring seniors and caregivers together virtually twice a month, along with guest speakers and representatives from community groups to discover local resources, learn from one another and feel included.

“This project will increase awareness of local services and provide valuable information and connections to help keep seniors safe during the pandemic and beyond,” said Tobi Johnston, Executive Director of the Caregivers Network for East Kootenay Seniors Society. “By offering a gathering place and support during a time when many seniors are confined to their homes, it will help reduce social isolation and improve mental health and wellness.”

In the Golden area, $46,875 from CBT will go to the Métis Nation Columbia River Society to expand its services and offer a variety of culturally safe supports, activities and events.

“Our services will help participants enhance their life and financial skills, learn how to manage mental and physical challenges and build cultural connections, and help them access supports like educational funding,” said Caren Nagao, Métis Nation Columbia River Society President. “Also, through community events and workshops, both Indigenous and non‐Indigenous community members will be able to expand their knowledge of Indigenous history and our contributions to this country.”

More: Projects Boost Social Well-Being (CBT)

A list of the grant recipients in the East Kootenay region follows:

  • Basin-wide:
    • Caregivers Network for East Kootenay Seniors Society
      • Conversation Café
        • $29,000
  • Cranbrook:
    • Community Connections Society of Southeast BC
      • Walk-in Counselling
        • $25,000
      • Women Being Social and Connected
        • $4,700
    • Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays
      • LGBTQ2+ and Allies Opportunity Project
        • $18,945
    • United Way East Kootenay
      • Celebrate Age-friendly Cranbrook
        • $4,313
  • Creston:
    • SQx Danza
      • Active Inclusion Program
        • $5,000
  • Columbia Valley:
    • Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce
      • Dare to Be Different
        • $3,750
  • East Kootenay:
    • Rocky Mountain Behaviour Analysts
      • Social Skill Groups
        • $12,000
    • Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays
      • Community Bystander Prevention Training
        • $4,500
  • Elk Valley:
    • Fernie Pride Society
      • Elk Valley LGBTQ2+ Inclusivity Initiatives
        • $5,000
  • Fernie:
    • Columbia Basin Family Resource Society
      • Fellaship
        • $52,143
  • Golden
    • Golden Community Resources Society
      • Beyond Soup
        • $35,000
    • Golden Community Social Services Coop
      • Social Justice Advocate
        • $25,000
    • Métis Nation Columbia River Society
      • Ispahke’nikun Neya’nan Ayiseni’wak (Uplift Our People)
        • $46,875
    • Community Visual Arts Society
      • Reaching Out and Connecting with Seniors through Art
        • $1,905
  • Grasmere
    • Grasmere Community Society
      • Grasmere Social Connections Project
        • $20,000
  • Invermere:
    • Windermere Valley Youth Centre Society
      • Summit School of Rock
        • $5,000
  • Kimberley:
    • Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook
      • Camp Odyssey
        • $4,955
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