On May 5th, I held an event in my neighbourhood, titled “Strong Healthy Homes Make Safe Neighbourhoods,” which focused on health and safety, both in the home and community.

The event, which was held in the Willow Point Lions Hall, was broken up into two themes. The focus in the morning was on safety in the home and community. Craig Idiens, who is a fire inspector, started us off with an informative talk and video. He was not only generous with his time, but he also brought free fire detectors for anyone who wanted one.

Avalon Willis, from the Restorative Justice Outreach department at the Campbell River RCMP detachment, set up a booth with pins and lots of information and also provided a slide show that gave us a good understanding of this department and how to keep safe.

We then had a wonderful surprise visit and a short but extremely informative presentation by Shaun Koopman who is the Emergency Program Coordinator for the Strathcona Regional District. He also gave out an emergency Kit.

As safety is for pets, as well as people, Gail Radtke, a certified dog trainer from Cedar Valley K9, rounded off the morning sessions with a passionate presentation. She is also certified as a canine fitness trainer and “fear-free” animal trainer. Gail has a diploma in canine behaviour and is a Dog Safe Canine First Aid Instructor. Her talk was very informative and the related door prizes she provided were really appreciated.

We had a short break where people could enjoy some light snacks and refreshments before the second half of the day which focused on mind, body, and social connections.

I started us off with a presentation on how to find balance in your life. I was followed by Sharyn Sadauskas, another community leader, who came all the way from Parksville. Sharyn loves connecting with people face-to-face and she talked from her heart about helping others do the same through the “I’d Love to Talk Project,” which she founded in 2021. Sharyn believes that simple human connections have the power to lift our spirits and she’s hoping to make finding those connections easier for all of us.

Our final presentation of the day was from William Raven, who is an advanced, certified instructor of yoga teachers and has been teaching yoga for over 30 years. His focus is on helping older bodies stay strong and functional and avoiding poor physical habits, which most people don’t realize are harming the comfort and longevity of their muscles, joints, and tendons. He teaches about how the simple power of connecting to the movement of your breath can improve the quality of life just by understanding some very basic principles. Finally, William talked about the importance of being able to maintain the ability of physical balance and feeling steady on our feet. He got everyone on their feet and provided some easy instructions on breathing and moving properly and safely. He also provided some extra door prizes.

Everyone in attendance enjoyed their day of learning, as well as the door prizes, snacks, and refreshments. I hope to be able to do something like this again in the future and/or assist any other leaders who are thinking about this in their own communities.

Thank you!

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