Major grant a big boost to Country Street Centre for seniors

Mills Community Support receives major grant for the Country Street Centre

Mills Community Support is delighted to announce new grant funding for the Country Street Centre. Ontario’s Ministry of Seniors Affairs has a goal of helping seniors stay active and socially connected through investment in Seniors Active Living Centres, and MCS is one of 40 recipients in 2018 to receive funding. With this funding, the Country Street Centre joins the group of more than 300 Seniors Active Living Centre locations across the province.

MCS will use the SALC grant funding for enhanced and new educational, fitness and social programs at the Country Street Centre. Thanks to the grant funding, purchase of fitness equipment and computers for a technology educational program, and new programs such as hands-on education for seniors’ nutrition, are now all in the works for an anticipated fall launch.

The grant also provides stability for the future. “The SALC grant provides annualized funding. With this predictable funding, we have a great opportunity to undertake long-term planning for our seniors’ active living programs”, commented Robert Eves, CEO of Mills Community Support.

Open since February, the Country Street Centre is the initial phase of MCS’ long-held vision for a seniors’ activity and social centre. In 2017, thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the CSC was renovated, refreshed, refurnished and reequipped, allowing many of MCS’ Seniors Services programs to relocate to this centralized location. The Country Street Centre offers social, recreational and health-related services for seniors in the local community, as well as the approximately 100 tenants in the two adjacent MCS-owned apartment buildings

The Centre is a lively, vibrant place for seniors to gather, socialize and be active. A visitor to the Centre could encounter a delicious meal being served up by volunteers, the beat of drums or the rhythms of dance music from a senior adult fitness class, or a euchre, bingo or cribbage game in progress. And when these scheduled events aren’t happening, the Lounge is a quiet and welcoming space for residents of its two flanking apartment buildings to sit, meet and chat.

Rhona, a sprightly septuagenarian, appreciates what the Country Street Centre offers. She walks from her nearby home to participate at the Centre. As she says,

Volunteers and residents enjoy working in the new kitchen.

 “3 Cheers for the Country Street Centre! Great location, great exercise programs for the young at heart – and in my case for the not so young also. Since I moved to Mississippi Mills (Almonte) from Mississauga almost 3 years now, I have made many new friends through the variety of programs and trips being offered by Mills Community Support. I am so happy to say that I am now physically active, compared to the couch potato that I was when I first moved here. As an added bonus, I can now walk to the exercise programs being offered at the Country Street Centre. I feel so energized now – I have never felt better than I do now. Thank you so much for inspiring me.”

Positive impacts such as these are just what Mills Community Support planned to achieve with the Country Street Centre.

A Zumba Gold class in action at the Country Street Centre.

And there’s more to come. Construction on the next phase of the Country Street Centre will take place this summer. This project will see the addition of a sunlit solarium to the Centre, providing a link between the two seniors’ apartment buildings on the site, a new entrance to the Centre, and more space for social and activity programming. A community fundraising campaign with a target of $25,000 will launch in the next few months to help fund the remaining costs of the project.

The Country Street Centre was funded by MCS, through the Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, and now the Seniors Active Living Centre grant. Many generous donors have also lent their support and donations to MCS’ vision for the Centre. These donors include businesses, community organizations, partners, and individuals in the community, and together they have contributed over $40,000 to help with construction costs of the solarium. Recognizing the value of MCS programs for seniors, Drew McDougall, a CSC donor and Director of Riverview Seniors’ Residence in partnership with his wife Susan Brandt, commented,

Mills Community Support is an organization that consistently provides wonderful programs to serve the needs of the seniors in our communities. The Country Street Centre will allow Mills Community Support to extend its services to reach even more seniors, and Susan and I knew this was an important initiative that we would support.

For more information on their complete range of services and programs for seniors, contact Mills Community Support at (613) 256-1031.