Older adults in Sudbury can now continue their volunteerism and socialize from the safety of their home thanks to a new initiative by Volunteer Sudbury.
Virtual Activity Pods is targeted towards residents 55 or older and will help decrease feelings of social isolation by providing innovative ways to get involved in the community despite the ongoing pandemic.
Here’s how it works.
Three groups or “pods” meet virtually on Zoom once a week for a 12-week period. Each pod has a different theme, including crafting and messages of hope. The activities cover a wide range of topics, such as sewing masks and knitting winter wear to donate to community organizations such as warming centres and shelters, and assembling care packages and writing cards and notes for front-line workers in a continued effort to thank them.
The program has no cost for participants, and all the supplies needed for the activity pods are delivered via contactless delivery.
Each pod will be led by another older adult in the community, who will act as a liaison between Volunteer Sudbury and their group, helping to plan and facilitate the meetings and activities each week on the video calls.
In order to foster a sense of community, it is suggested that participants have reliable access to a computer with wifi, a webcam and a microphone for the meetings so they can participate on video and see other participants, though it is possible to call into the group meetings through a cell phone or landline and participate by voice-only.
“As we all know, social isolation has been a huge concern throughout this pandemic, specifically for older adults,” Volunteer Sudbury program co-ordinator Megan Karchie said.
“But we also still have so many people reaching out to our organization, looking for ways to volunteer during a time where there aren’t many traditional opportunities to do so.
“That’s why we felt this program was the perfect way to address both these issues at once.”
If you are interested in being a participant or a leader in the program or if you know someone who could benefit from the Virtual Activity Pod Program, click here for more information.
Virtual Activity Pods is funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons Senior Program.