Helping seniors share wealth of knowledge through new Elder Bank
April 18, 2016
SURREY – Seniors in Surrey will soon be called upon to share their skills and experience through a new joint initiative between the City of Surrey and the provincial government. The pilot project will reach out to seniors and capture their wealth of knowledge in a Triple “E” Elder Bank that can be accessed by the general public.
“The City of Surrey has always been an innovator in terms of citizen engagement,” said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. “This program is going to take us to a whole new level by giving our seniors the opportunity to continue making contributions to their community in a meaningful way.”
“We want to redefine the way people connect through mentorship,” said Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender. “For people who have made important and significant contributions to British Columbia over the course of their lives, the Elder Bank provides them with an opportunity to make an inspiring deposit in the future of young people.”
The City of Surrey will match $300,000 worth of funding from the provincial government over three years for this pilot program. A new Elder Coordinator position will be created to develop and implement a comprehensive municipal strategy of engagement that is evidence-based, embedded within current and new programs and partnerships, and most importantly driven by the vision of seniors as an essential community resource. Two key programs within this coordinated approach are the development of an Elder Bank and the implementation of an oral history project.
Triple “E” stands for expert, entertainer and educator and the Triple “E” Bank will collect as many participants who want to come forward and offer their experience to the community. It will represent an opportunity for seniors to tell their story and offer advice to younger people that have a similar interest or a career they wish to pursue.
“We owe Surrey Councillor Barbara Steele, Fire Chief Len Garis and Dr. Martha Dow at the UFV Centre of Social Research a great deal of gratitude for helping to get this project off the ground,” said MLA Darryl Plecas, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. “I hope this program serves as a future model for other municipalities and as the next step in looking at seniors as a valuable and often untapped resource.”
There is strong evidence to indicate that formal volunteer experiences contribute to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of seniors in our communities. Reconceptualising elders in our communities will result in their improved health and wellness.
For media inquiries:
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey