Ucluelet seniors Mike North, Jack Sheffield and Gerry Cole meet for coffee at the Ucluelet Co-op every afternoon. An open house will be held at the Co-op on Nov. 29 to collect feedback on a seniors’ hub slated for the Ucluelet Community Centre. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Seniors’ hub underway in Ucluelet

Open house scheduled for Nov. 29 to collect feedback on what hub should look like.

Providing opportunities for seniors to socialize is a vital tool for keeping a key resource engaged.

Statistics Canada’s latest Census results proved that seniors are one of Ucluelet’s fastest growing demographics as the community saw its 65 and older crowd balloon from 160 in 2011 to 205 in 2016.

It’s a demographic that boasts a goldmine of knowledge and life-experiences to pass down to younger generations and Ucluelet is hoping to create valuable connections between the senior’s community and its younger locals through a proposed seniors’ hub at the Community Centre.

“Our goal is to provide a place for seniors to gather, to socialize, to share their skills, to network and to contribute to the community,” said the West Coast Communities Resources Society’s Seniors Hub Outreach Coordinator Paulette Bellavance. “Ucluelet is a great place to live and [seniors] are part of our community. We want to keep them here and we want to welcome them here.”

Anyone wanting to provide input into what the seniors’ hub should look like and offer is encouraged to attend an open house at the Ucluelet Co-op on Nov 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feedback will be welcomed from locals of all ages.

Bellavance said the seniors’ hub would give older locals a place to socialize and network while also benefitting younger demographics as seniors can be vital mentors within their community.

“If you’re engaged and you’re interacting with people, you have things to look forward to and it’s a better overall quality of life,” she said.

She added that she hopes to see seniors get involved in the planning and creation of the hub and take ownership of its offerings.

“We want this to be for seniors, by seniors,” she said. “So, it’s empowering the seniors too; to be involved in the community and to provide for each other.”

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