The folks who gave up a beautiful Sunday afternoon to attend the AGM of the Area A Seniors Housing Project on June 25 received good news on two fronts.
Peter Treuheit of Mobius Architecture Inc. presented the preliminary design for the Abbeyfield House (for details, check www.penderharbourabbeyfield.org), which the society plans to build on land donated by Lily Lake Village at their Lagoon Road location. Treuheit visited two existing Abbeyfield Houses on the Lower Mainland and did a careful assessment of the building lot before coming up with his initial design. As currently conceptualized, the House will have four resident units on the bottom floor, with entrances at grade plus a covered outdoor patio and a multi-purpose activity room, six resident units on the second floor, also at grade because of the slope of the building site, plus kitchen, dining room and living room, a house co-ordinator's suite and a guest suite on a third level. An elevator will supplement stairs to maximize accessibility. Funds to create the initial design and to develop a business plan to use for fundraising purposes came from a $10,000 seed grant from Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC), which the seniors housing group received in 2005.
The other good news was a pro-ject update on the society's Outreach Healthy Meal Program project. For some time, Linda Curtiss, recently retired head of the Pender Harbour Health Centre, has seen the need for a program that would provide isolated seniors in the Pender area with nutritious meals, specific to different dietary needs and delivered to their homes. Funding from the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), under the Union of B.C. Municipalities seniors pilot projects program, has allowed the team to do an in-depth needs analysis, research models from other jurisdictions (e.g., Meals on Wheels), consult with dieticians about recommended menus, find low cost environmentally friendly packaging options and set up a community partnership with the Pender Harbour Legion for use of their kitchen facility until such time as the Abbeyfield House kitchen is ready. "Eventually, it is hoped the program will run out of the Abbeyfield House kitchen," said project co-ordinator, Audry Lochrie. "Until that time, any surplus generated by the program will go in to the Abbeyfield building fund." Although the primary target group for meal delivery is isolated seniors, in the future, others might opt for the service as well, perhaps even working people with little time to shop and cook nutritious meals. They would have the added satisfaction of knowing they were contributing to a seniors' housing project in Pender.
Market trials of their new model will take place in the fall. For information, contact Curtiss at 604-883-2819, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Lochrie at 604-886-0166 or email email@example.com.
Of course all the usual AGM business was also on the agenda, including election of new directors and a report from chair Paul Cuppen, who updated the group on progress on various fundraising projects, including the recent golf tournament at Pender Harbour Golf Club.
Cuppen also indicated that the group is very close to having title to the building site, with just the final legal documents needing to be processed. Director Louise Berg gave the financial report and proudly announced that membership was now just a shade under 200.
The next big steps are a major fundraising program and fleshing out of the initial design. If you can help or know anyone who can, please contact Cuppen at 604-883-9883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.