May 28, 2014

Community Services expands 55 Plus activities

As published in The Erin Advocate

A partnership with the Erin Legion has enabled a successful expansion of activities in the 55 Plus Club, provided through East Wellington Community Services (EWCS).

Darts, billiards, cards, board games and shuffleboard have attracted participants to a new, free drop-in recreation program. It is at the Legion, 12 Dundas Street, from 10 am to 1 pm every Wednesday, with lunch available at a moderate cost.

“It really helps seniors in our community to connect with others that share a common interest or hobby, make new friendships or even have the opportunity to help mentor and teach others,” says Sherri Plourde, Manager, Senior Services with EWCS.

The agency is highlighting its service to mark the 30th annual Seniors Month in Ontario, with the theme, Aging Without Boundaries: 30 Years of Celebrating Seniors. The 55 Plus Club is for active community members looking for social activities.

“It’s all about community partners – volunteer driven and volunteer led,” said Erika Westcott, Manager, Community and Volunteer Services. “It tends to give them a purpose, to use their skills and stay connected. They have a great energy and commitment to their community and the agency – we couldn’t do what we do without them.”

She thanked the Legion for making their facility available, as well as ARC Industries with whom they have a reciprocal arrangement. ARC participants with intellectual disabilities visit with seniors at the Centre 2000 Day Program, and the 55 Plus Club uses space at the new ARC facility for Line Dancing classes.

The Club still uses the Centre 2000 Seniors Room for In Stitches (Knitting) Tuesday mornings, Scottish Dancing Tuesday afternoons, Yoga and Zumba Wednesday mornings and Bridge Friday afternoons. Some of the programs have fees. Check the website for times and other details, or call Sherri at 519-833-0087.

There are also regular 55 Plus Club bus trips to popular destinations in Ontario, but for Seniors Month a special free show has been arranged for Thursday, June 12, 2-4 pm at the Rockmosa Community Centre at 74 Christie Street in Rockwood.

Smile Theatre is presenting the professional song and dance show Art Meets Havoc, with Mark Allan as Art Linkletter and Lesley Ballantyne as June Havoc. Free-will donations to EWCS will be accepted, but the event is at no charge thanks to the sponsorship of Foodland, All in a Basket, Living Assistance Services, the Village of Arbour Trails, Rockwood Financial, Solutions 2 Organize U, Right at Home and Denny’s Bus Lines, which is providing free transportation from Centre 2000 and Meadow View Place in Hillsburgh. Call Barb or Rick at 519-856-2113 for reservations.

EWCS continues to offer its Adult Day Program Mondays and Thursdays in Erin (and on Tuesdays in Rockwood), and there are currently three openings.

The Gentle Exercise Program for Seniors runs Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons in Erin. It is designed to “promote well-being and healthy aging, while focusing on seniors being able to remain active, independent and decrease their risk of falls.”

The agency has transportation services with a nominal fee for those over 60 and disabled adults. They now have a bus and two vans, including the new wheelchair accessible van. Call 519-856-2113 to enquire about low-cost transportation for medical appointments or shopping needs.

EWCS is a charitable organization that also runs Food Banks, INFO Centres and Children’s Programs. Check the website for ways to contribute, including their stores Bookends and New To You, and sponsorship or participation at their July 15 Golf Tournament at Guelph Lakes Golf and Country Club.