Age-friendly Vanderhoof

Vanderhoof is one of eight communities recognized by the Ministry of Health as a age-friendly community of 2014.

Anne Irving and Betty Wall enjoy a beautiful day at the Vanderhoof farmers market.

Anne Irving and Betty Wall enjoy a beautiful day at the Vanderhoof farmers market.

The Ministry of Health announced on July 28 that Vanderhoof is one of eight BC communities to be awarded Age-friendly Recognition for 2014.

“It’s about time people recognize the all-aged positiveness in Vanderhoof,” said Ike Thiessen, a senior resident of Vanderhoof.

Local governments in Anmore, Cobble Hill, Granisle, Kent, Kitimat, Telkwa,Vancouver and Vanderhoof will each receive a $1,000 award to create a legacy project or celebration, as well as a Age-friendly BC Recognition award poster.

“It take more than jobs, roads and buildings to create a healthy and vibrant community. The past decade has sen an increased number of seniors retiring in resource based communities where they have worked during their careers. Vanderhoof has recognized the importance of keeping seniors active and engaged. We have ensured that there is a clear wording in our proposed Official Community Plan stating the need for us to be a healthy community regardless of age. This has been put into action with our support of the community  garden where the value of senior mentoring students is displayed,” said Mayor Gerry Thiessen, District of Vanderhoof.

To have been eligible for the age-friendly recognition award, the community of Vanderhoof had to have completed four steps.

Establishing an age-friendly advisory committee, passing a local government resolution, conducting an age-friendly assessment and publishing an action plan. The participation of seniors was also an integral part of the process.

Anne Irving 76, has lived in Vanderhoof most of her life and has continued to volunteer at various places including Neighbour Link and the food bank.

“I don’t feel like a senior,” said Ms. Irving. “I don’t have any concept of the word board or when people say they are board. I just love getting out and and doing things. Age-friendly is right, we are friendly in Vanderhoof.”

The Age-friendly BC Recognition program is a partnership between the BC Healthy Communities Society and the Ministry of Health. A total of 25 communities have now received Age-friendly BC Recognition.