By Nikki Jamieson
Westwind Weekly News
Funding proposals are being sought for the launch of the 2020-21 New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) Call for Proposals for community-based projects.
The program, which has been running for more than 20 years, provides funding to community and service groups to help deliver activities and social opportunities for seniors across the country. The program aims to include seniors in the development and implementation of projects while increasing opportunities for activities and services.
This year, organizations can apply for funding to help support seniors with project proposals that offer COVID-19 relief and recovery activities for seniors, although they are still able to submit proposals for more traditional NHSP projects that they plan to deliver in 2021-22.
“COVID has been hard on everyone – especially Canadians who have pre-existing medical conditions, disabilities or may rely on community services. Seniors are often the most vulnerable to illness; many need support of one kind or another. With the rules in place to protect our health, it is important that everyone can also see friends, family, neighbours and participate in regular activities for our emotional and social wellbeing,” said Glen Motz, MP for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner. “The funding is needed for charities and non-profits in our communities to provide programs safely while meeting the COVID restrictions.
“The program is focused this year on supporting seniors dealing with barriers during the pandemic. To that end, this year the program has slightly different parameters and delivery considerations. However, the New Horizons for Seniors program supports improving access to services for seniors who need it, support awareness of elder abuse and financial abuse, and help remove barriers to seniors in the community during COVID.”
Community-based projects are eligible to receive up to $25,000 from NHSP in grant funding, and funds are set aside for grants of up to $5,000 for organizations that have not received funding from the program in the past five years.
Seniors are a growing demographic age group in Canada, and by 2030, the number of seniors is expected to reach 9.6 million, representing close to one quarter of Canada’s population.
NHSP funding priorities this year include projects that focus on supporting healthy ageing; preventing elder abuse and fraud; combatting ageism, celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion; improving seniors’access to government services and benefits; and adapting community-based organizations to a more virtual environment.
“The recent news of impacts that COVID has had on so many across our region shows us why it is critical to look after the emotional and mental health as well as our physical health. While I have seen strong support for neighbours across our communities, more support for the added costs is important for charities and non-profits across our riding.”
NHSP’s Call for Proposals is open until Oct. 20, 2020. For more information, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-socialdevelopment/programs/new-horizonsseniors.html.