After 36 years of serving seniors in the Cowichan Valley, the Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation announced on Tuesday that it is closing up shop this week, although many of the services it offered will continue under other the umbrellas of Cowichan Green Community and Volunteer Cowichan.
“While it was a difficult decision, the Cowichan Seniors Foundation is very pleased to have some of our key programs be taken over by partner agencies in community,” said Sheila Service, chair of the CSCF board. “We are confident they are great choices to continue the services.”
Cowichan Green Community will take over the Duncan Meals on Wheels. CGC has been the food provider for Meals on Wheels since February 2019, while the foundation oversaw administrative responsibilities. It is a natural fit, the foundation said, for Cowichan Green Community to take on administrative duties as well.
“In partnership with CSCF, we’ve been honoured to provide this service to some of our vulnerable community members,” said GCG executive director Judy Stafford. “Although disheartened to learn of the dissolution of our partner, we are grateful to have the in-house capacity and expertise to assume the administration role for this program.”
Volunteer Cowichan will take charge of the Community Link Project and the Community Link Worker. United Way Healthy Aging funds that project as well as the Better at Home program, which is already operated by Volunteer Cowichan.
“Volunteer Cowichan has worked closely with CSCF over the past six years to enhance the quality of lives of older adults in Cowichan,” said Volunteer Cowichan executive director Jennifer Lazenby. “Moving forward, Volunteer Cowichan will continue to support older adults to be independent, connected and active.”
The Supported Transportation Program began in 2011 with the support of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. It has not run since April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has now been discontinued entirely.
“Since 2011, the Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation Supported Transportation program has provided a much-needed service for our seniors to access health services in the region,” said CVRD chair Aaron Stone. “We were proud to support this program since its inception, and sincerely thank the Foundation and its volunteers for their dedicated service.”
The CSCF’s physical office is set to close on Thursday, April 1. The phone numbers for both Meals on Wheels and the Community Link worker will be transferred to their new agencies, and the website and directory will remain active for the next year.