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One step closer to a dedicated seniors centre

The concept of a permanent senior centre facility in Mission took another step forward thanks to a $20,000 grant from the province.

Mission was one of 27 communities across the province to receive grants to help create programs or tools that address the needs of their older residents. The District of Mission made the application to the age-friendly planning and project grant program on behalf of the Mission Seniors Centre Association.

Bob Ingram, president of the Mission Seniors Centre Association, said the grant will go a long way to helping them set up the framework to establish a permanent senior centre in Mission.

The money will be used to establish programs and procedures that need to be in place in order to make a permanent senior centre viable in the district, he added.

"How we would manage a facility that operates seven days a week and all the costs that goes with that still need to be developed," said Ingram. "You can't do that with just volunteers. We would need to find someone to manage the centre and coordinate the volunteers. It all takes time and expertise."

Currently the Mission Senior Centre is a shared facility, located at 33100 10 Ave. Ingram said the association is working closely with the district to establish an independent centre that will benefit the community. He said with support, a successful senior centre can be a selling point for Mission.

Ingram added as the community continues to grow and new development transforms the district, the needs of the community's seniors are going to grow as well.

"They are the ones who helped build our communities and got us to where we are today. They still have so much to contribute and give back. A strong senior's community is an incredible asset," he said.

The age-friendly planning and project grant program is a partnership between the government of B.C. and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. Grants of up to $20,000 are provided through UBCM to help establish, or continue, a variety of projects that support healthy, active seniors.

Since 2007, 117 B.C. communities have received funding to support age-friendly planning and projects.

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