‘Living Better in the Community’ Workshop was held successfully on July 11 2023 (Tuesday) at Killarnery Community Centre from 10:15am to 12:15pm.
The posters were launched in late June and registration started on June 30, 2023. Posters were posted at Community Centres and seniors home, including Killarney Community Centre, South Vancouver Neighborhood House, Clarendon Court, Shannon Oaks, Southview Terrace and Southview Heights. About 1,000 people have been reached. Killarney Community Centre helped for the registration . We offered eight spots for the event and the registration was filled up in 30 minutes. A lot of people were on the waitlist. Eight pre-registered participants showed up and two people from waitlist showed up as well. Including the speaker and me, we had twelve people in total.
After acknowledged all sponsors (Neighbourhood Small Grant , Killarney Community Centre and Smart Aging Solutions), the event started with ice-making activities, allowing them to mingle and connect with one another. Next, the speaker shared lots of skills and strategies on how to obtain better lives, as well as resources in the community. The speaker was successfully ignited meaningful discussions and sharing. Participants were highly involved and enjoyed all activities. All participants mingled well, had high participations and enjoyed the event very much. After the workshop, they had 3-course meals at Grand Hall, Killarney Senior Centre. Last but not least, all participants received healthy goody bags. They were satisfied and impressed on the event and showed great appreciation to our project. The entire program officially ended at 12:15pm. Participants enjoyed connecting, sharing and talking to the speaker. We left at 1:00pm.
As stated in proposal, we were able to share skills, strategies, and resources for promoting healthy lifestyle and ways to live better in the community. We were able to connect participants, to create engaging community, to build a safe and inclusive communities successfully. They mingled very well. Although the event ended officially at 12:15pm, they did not leave until 1:00pm. We helped to curb social isolation and loneliness, promoted community engagement and helped them acknowledge and appreciate their roles.
We had ten participants. Some were Caucasians, Chinese Canadians and Indian Canadian. We were able to help them break the ice and mingle well in the group. They were willing to share and had welcoming attitude to one another.
All participants thought the facilitator was very knowledgeable and delivered message clearly. They all will recommend this event to others. They all enjoyed themselves very much in the workshop, and found the information was very helpful. They showed much appreciation to the workshop, lunch and goody bags. We heard lots of ‘Thank You’ from them. They hope we can offer more workshops on all topics which are fruitful for them. They also want to have more seniors’ activities, including bus trip and games in the future.
Besides we joined the lunch program at Killarney Seniors Centre, there were other people who had lunch there. Since we ate and shared in a big table, other people could feel the ambience of our group – harmony, pleasant and good relationships. They were attracted and paid much attentions to us. Some people came and asked how to join this event in the future. For example, a lady from ‘Cantonese Speaking Seniors’ would like us to promote this event to her group in the future, and let them know update events.
We offered eight spots in the workshop. At the end, ten people showed up (two from the waitlist and tried their luck. We allowed them to join and paid for their meals). At the end, we had a deficit budget. In this project, the budget for lunch, honorarium and goody bags were very tight. In the future, fund should include stationery (for ice-breaking activities), transportation and buffer/emergency use. Although it exceeded the budget, we had a very good time together. Participants all involved in the group and chatted a lot. Although our meeting officially ended at 12:15pm, they preferred to stay, talking and sharing with others. Some made friends and exchanged contact information. They did not leave until staff from Killarney told us to leave. It was already 1:00pm. Some participants even danced in our event. They enjoyed the event and highly involved and participated in it.
In addition, we were impressed by having one participant told us that his brother never talked to strangers. Yet in our event, he started talking to other participants (some men and women, even with people who are in different ethnic groups). We were glad that we could promote inclusive community, community engagement and social connection successfully in this event.
Also, a participant told us that she would like to work as a volunteer if we have similar project in the future. We thought our project really help people to find their roles and to appreciate their roles.
Last but not least, we received an email from Killarney Community Centre after the event, telling us that one of the participants found that our project indeed helped her and transformed her. She found that our workshop was so helpful and fruitful. She said this in her email:
‘My thoughts about the workshop is that now I would like to keep connected to those who took the workshop and in a way that fosters “Living Better” in an ongoing basis.”
Although we spent about three hours in the project (it was planned for a two-hour event) and over-budget, we are glad that we can foster, support and uphold community inclusion, community engagement and social connection.
The event went so well and successful. Attached please find photos and video for our project. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Finally, I have to thank Neighbourhood Small Grant for providing fund for the event. I hope to do it again soon!