Living Better on Less Program Expands

 on April 11, 2024

The Living Better on Less Program has expanded by offering two new programs to the community. The Living Better on Less for Seniors Program and Living Better for Less for Youth are offered by the Church of the Apostles and the Guelph Tool Library. These free series ran until the start of March.

The Living Better on Less Program began at the Church of the Apostles in 2008 as a response to the housing crisis. The six week program was developed to teach participants about having less of an environmental impact and ways to optimize living on a fixed budget. The two new offerings are expanding on this programming with a focus on youth and seniors who are in transition.

John Dennis, Living Better on Less Coordinator, stated that “the new offerings of the Living Better on Less Program are an opportunity for us to focus on the needs of specific groups in the community. We are delighted to partner with Wyndham House and the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association to serve these participants.”

The Living Better on Less for Youth Program is currently running weekly at the Wyndham House Hub until the end of February. The program is supported by funding through the Federal Government’s Community Service Recovery Fund and the Guelph Community Foundation.

Wyndham House has provided space for the program, assisted with recruiting participants, and organized keynote speakers. A youth advisory committee was recruited by Alyssa Vanderkooy, the facilitator of this program, to be peer mentors and to assist with program creation and facilitation. The programming focuses on the unique challenges faced by these participants including employment skills, healthy eating, and shopping on a budget.

Alyssa Vanderkooy, noted that “we are really excited to be creating this program with input from the participants at Wyndham House. This is a unique opportunity to connect participants with relevant resources in the city and new skills to reduce their spending and environmental impact all at once”.

The Living Better on Less for Seniors Program was offered at the Evergreen Centre. The workshops focused on the topics relevant to seniors such as elder abuse and fraud, dealing with grieve and loss, and healthy aging. The goal of this program is to help participants feel more connected in the community, to allow them to share their experiences and to inform them of resources and opportunities available to them. The program is supported by the Federal Government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Kim Logue, the facilitator of this series for seniors, began volunteering in support of the program in November 2023, and has been working on the program curriculum since January 2024. She says, “The program recognizes that seniors have a great deal of experience and knowledge that can be shared with the larger group to enhance the learning experience. We created this new series shaped by input from past participants, as well as the Senior’s Advisory Committee that included the program creator, Ann Chidwick.”

The two programs are at capacity but additional session will be offered in the Spring and Fall of 2024. Details will be shared on social media through the Guelph Tool Library and the Church of the Apostles.

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