Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre
Our Story Why We Exist
“It was definitely a heart warming experience to see so many people working together to provide a wonderful, caring & happy gathering for so many older adults.” - Pat Fawcett
Pat’s thank you note after a special event encapsulates so much of what we’re all about. Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre provides a place for seniors to stay active and involved, but it’s the staff, volunteers and members who all work together to provide a fun, friendly and welcoming place to be.
Our Impact What We Do
Staying active and involved isn’t all fun and games...except when it really is. We’re serious about promoting a fun and lively atmosphere because we take the health and wellbeing of seniors seriously. Remaining (or becoming) mentally, physically and socially active is one of the best ways for older adults to combat chronic diseases associated with aging and maintain their independence. Our Mission is to Enhance the Lives of Adults.
Fulfilling a Vision: Since 1973, Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre has been responding to the needs of older adults by connecting them with opportunities for social interaction, education, and volunteerism through clubs, classes and activities. Everything we do is designed to promote mental and physical well-being – and to have fun while we’re doing it.
- We now boast over 650 members with a volunteer base of about 25.
- There are 40 plus classes offered throughout the year, as well as numerous special events, dances, club activities and seminars.
- Facility rentals increased our revenues, non-viable classes were cancelled, fundraising events were more lucrative, and expenses streamlined.
- We entered into a new funding agreement with Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) to receive support funding from January 2014 through December 2016.
Our Programs How We Do It
Clubs & Classes - There are a myriad of ways to stay active at Confederation Park 55+ Activity Centre. Whether it’s through dance, art, cards or singing we offer clubs and classes for people of all skill and activity levels.
Events & Outreach - We host a number of special events including a weekly outreach program for local isolated seniors called Tea & Conversation. For many of the participants, it’s their only opportunity to get out and interact socially during the week.
Services - A Boutique and Next-to-New Shop provide gifts and gently used clothes at low prices, our Kitchen volunteers prepare light lunches, the Travel Desk volunteers plan excursions, and regularly scheduled visits from Professional Services (lawyer and podiatrist) all of which benefit seniors in our community.
Funding continues to be very challenging. We are facing increased costs for utilities, salaries, supplies and programs. In 2014 FCSS agreed to 3 years of continued funding, but at the same time the opportunity for funding from casinos has been reduced to once every 2 years instead of annually.
- Our greatest challenge is to secure funds for our Tea and Conversation Program (T&C). Every Thursday, over 130 seniors attend the event, and we provide transportation for up to 45 isolated seniors in the area to ensure they have an opportunity to connect with others. Live music, dancing, snacks and lively conversation help keep this vulnerable population active and engaged. Our Board recognizes the substantial benefits of the program to seniors living in isolation and is dedicated to keeping T&C active, even though the $45,000/year cost is substantial for our organization. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find adequate sponsorship for this life-changing program and with casino funds no longer coming annualy, it has become critical to find an alternative solution.
Our Requests What You Can Do
Unfortunately, as Calgary grows and our population matures, so too, do the number of isolated or shut-in seniors. These are people who, for any number of reasons have become socially isolated. Often times, they may be living alone and struggling on low/fixed incomes.
Their career years have long since passed and their perceived purpose to participate in the community has dwindled. They may have health and/or mobility issues, making it difficult for them to get out and interact with the community. Many are lonely, widowed and separated from the younger members of their extended families.
This is a deeply valuable, knowledgeable and experienced generation – an intrinsically important segment of our community – sadly forgotten.
There are so many ways to get involved. We welcome contributions of:
- Time: We’d be lost without our volunteers. Over 300 active volunteers keep us functioning and vibrant, but we can always use extra hands - especially when it comes to special events like our Sasi Jaunt.
- Expertise: Our full-time staff of 3 are impressively talented, but don’t always have the time or skills to do some of the things we’d love to do. Right now, we have some creative projects on the back burner, and are looking for a videographer and/or crowdfunding specialist to help cook ‘em up.
- Funds: We can always put extra dollars to good use. One of our more substantial expenses is providing transportation for the isolated seniors who attend our weekly Tea & Conversation program. Donations go a long way to help offset the cost of taxis for that program. We would also like to upgrade our technology and improve our signage, both of which come with price tags beyond our means.
- Clothes: We operate a small boutique, and gladly accept donations of clothes, shoes, coats etc. If you’re cleaning out your closet, or have connections with a local consignment store, please get in touch.