Twenty thousand dollars in funding for local healthy living and lifestyle ideas has been awarded to the Lakes District, and the Partnering for Healthier Communities working group is taking grant proposals.
Groups and individuals with healthy community ideas in Burns Lake, Southside, Granisle and points in between are invited submit grant applications.
In response to a Northern Health initiative, Burns Lake joined several other communities from across the Northwest health region to participate in Partnering for Healthier Communities.
The first Partnering for Healthier Communities working group meeting was held on Burns lake on Oct. 12, 2012. The working group is a partnership between the Village of Burns Lake and interested locals.
Local community workshops identified areas of need specific to the communities involved. Last March, it was announced that the Burns Lake working group was successful in their work and the Lakes District would receive a $20,000 grant.
The funding is meant to target one or more of the risk factors identified by the Burns Lake working group as being a weak link in the district.
The list of targeted health risks in Burns Lake includes: lack of exercise, substance abuse, intergenerational activities, proactive solutions, healthy lifestyles awareness and education, holistic health, and access to healthy food.
An ongoing application period was announced recently. Lakes District community groups and individuals can apply for funding for projects that will enhance health and well-being in the Burns Lake area.
“We’re hoping for community groups to apply who have a focus on health and wellness, healthy eating, or healthy activities,” said Marie Hunter, Northern Health health service administrator and project lead. “We’re looking for individuals with ideas as well as groups. They would have to market their proposal, if it’s something that falls into the guidelines we’d see if we could support something it.”
Katherine King, a registered nurse and practice support coach, emphasized that funds are available for individuals with initiative and a good idea.
“It doesn’t have to be a big project,” she said. “Individuals could apply for little projects.”
Larger, more organized groups are already aware of the funding, but Northern Health wants to get the message out to everyone in the area.
“There’s a lot of independent activity going on in the community, like the Lakes District Trail Blazers for example,” Hunter said. “We’re trying to get in contact with the right people.”
Applicants do not have to be registered non-profits, neither do they need to have GST numbers.
Application forms are available at the Village of Burns Lake office and at the Chamber of Commerce office in Burns Lake. Filled-out applications can be returned to either location were they will be passed on to the Partnering for Healthy Communities work group.
“The Partnering for Healthier Communities workgroup committee will make decisions about which projects receive funding,” Hunter said.
The application period will close on Sept. 30 2014, but applications will be taken and considered on a rolling basis until then.
“Grants could be awarded on a rolling basis, depending on the needs of the project,” Hunter added. “If there are projects that are favourable, we don’t want to wait too long to release funds.”
A related health expo is planned for Jan. 24, 2014 in Burns Lake at the Lakeview Mall. Exhibition booths will be available to promote health and wellness in Burns Lake. More details on the health fair will be announced as they become available.
Several other Northern communities successfully received grants, including Vanderhoof, Smithers, and Fort St. James.