Wendy Francis
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My Health, My Community – series of dialogues hosted by the SCCF

This series of community dialogues was another great example of how the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation can affect leadership and change in our community – driven by YOU.

In late 2012, past Board Director, Bill Beamish, realized that Vancouver Coastal Health was conducting a survey called “My Health, My Community” which was an exciting opportunity to learn how our lifestyle, our environment, neighbourhood characteristics and daily interactions affect our health over time. He also noted that Plan H, a collaboration of BC Health Communities and Ministry of Health, announced Healthy Communities Capacity Building Grants for Local Governmentsand was quick on the mark to speak with the Town of Gibsons and the District of Sechelt, encouraging them to apply for a grant that would enable the Foundation to host a series of dialogues to report back the findings of the VCH survey and to assist in the development of collaborative action plans. Both local governments were successful and with that funding the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation, working closely with our local Vancouver Coastal Health office, organized a series of three community dialogues.

These sessions took a look at the responses to the year long Vancouver Coastal Health survey that was closed this summer and engaged the public in determining what the key issues are and providing some suggestions for the action plans. VCH also asked for feedback on what was missing on the survey, what the surprises were and what improvements can be made. (You can review the presentations here: MHMC Sunshine Coast Community Forum SECHELT v2; MHMC Sunshine Coast Community Forum GIBSONS; MHMC Sunshine Coast Community Forum OTHER SC ).

The sessions were attended by small groups of very involved people and the feedback was very good. A final report was compiled and presented at a Coastwide wrap-up session on Thursday, October 16th at 7:00pm at the Sunshine Coast Golf & Country Club in Roberts Creek. (You can review the Presentation here: MHMC Sunshine Coast Community Forum – Region wide) A final report will be posted soon.

Plan h, a collaboration of BC Health Communities and Ministry of Health, has selected our community to hold a Sustainability & Planning workshop for the local governments and appropriate stakeholder organizations on November 25th, 2014 at the Sechelt Indian Band. This will position them well for developing an Action Plan – and just in time for municipal elections!

Isn’t it great to know the few minutes you spent answering a survey might just amount to something concrete?