Stony Plain FCSS Quarterly Report
April - June 2020

Stony Plain and area residents are enriched through a strong, healthy, connected community.
Volunteer Centre
In full disclosure, this update is from my home office at the kitchen table in my lounge wear. During COVID, we were asked to stay at home. To make that easier, a whole new kind of volunteer stepped up to make virtual connections and help ease feelings of boredom and isolation. We saw volunteers reach out to provide technology, teach, and entertain us with virtual programs. During this time we had approximately 30% increase in volunteer inquiries.

National, provincial, regional and local weekly Zoom meetings were attended, giving voice to issues that impact the ability of the voluntary sector to be effective during this time.

We were pleased that one of our volunteer stories was profiled on the Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program, giving recognition to the efforts to support members of our community during a challenging time.
Youth Centre
The SPYC closed the doors on March 16th due to Covid-19 making the centre inaccessible to youth for programming or drop-in activities. The resulting correspondence from community partners and families immediately increased with expressed concerns about this disconnect in supports for our youth. In response to this feedback, the Stony Plain Youth Centre created a virtual space where youth are invited to engage in activities and have some fun. The Virtual YC schedule was posted each week featuring a variety of opportunities for our youth to get involved. Virtual activities range from mindful practices and self care tips to kahoot challenges and playing a game of Uno together on a Friday night. Weekly themes with corresponding challenges offered rewards to participants. 

A total of 12 prize packs have been delivered to the doorsteps of Stony Plain and Parkland youth since the launch of the Virtual YC.  
Virtual YC
Since launching SPYC virtual programming mid April, there has been an increase in followers on the SPYC social media pages; 104 on Facebook, 7 on Snapchat and 67 on Instagram.  
A number of community needs have been identified through these social media platforms. There were 41 contacts made with inquiries ranging from volunteer opportunities to referrals for mental health supports and basic needs. A collaboration with the grassroots organization, WE CARE, provided supplies for 8 hygiene boxes that were delivered to youth who stated they were in need. 

Safety checks and repairs were completed on a small number of bikes by a Gear volunteer. Bikes were distributed to clients of partnering agencies; Pay it Forward Kindness, Bredin Centre for Learning, Parkland School Division and the Caring Hearts Connectors when such a need was identified.
The SPYC partnered with Bredin Centre for Learning to provide bi-weekly Zoom workshops for youth. Youth were provided support for resume writing, interview skills and were also introduced to a tool called Planext that could be utilized to explore career options.
The YC supported Wheeling for Wellness Clinics in Stony Plain and Wabamun in June offering support to 26 youth participants. Those in attendance learned about cycling safely in the community and the connection between physical and mental wellness. The clinics ended with a tour through each town highlighting places such as the SPYC that offer safe spaces for youth where they can access programs and resources.

One adult mentor and one youth from the YC Gear program provided safety checks on the bikes and accompanied youth on the community tours. Watch Wheeling for Wellness here
Adopt A Window

The SPYC recognized Seniors Week 2020 by participating in the Adopt A Window campaign. YC staff worked with small groups of youth to paint resident windows at Whispering Waters. Youth and staff returned a few weeks later to wash away the spring images and replace them with Canada Day artwork. Staff were joined by 15 youth to create hopeful images on more than 30 windows as a show of support for our elders.
COVID Response
Mayor's Task Force - Social Stream
Stony Plain FCSS participated in supporting the Mayor's COVID 19 Task Force Social Stream in an effort to to develop, coordinate and execute actions that increase community connectivity and resiliency by promoting Social Wellness and Mental Health initiatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Over 100 volunteer hours were contributed to this project by valued community members.
COVID Action Groups
In response to COVID and the growing need for quick, accurate information and coordinating and collaboration of community initiatives, Stony Plain FCSS facilitated 42 Community Action Group meetings, produced 9 Community Summary Newsletters (The Thread), and connected 100+ community partners. In addition, sustainable framework for continuing to coordinate and collaborate with all community stakeholders was created with Community Action Groups for 4 major social issues.
Information & Referral Services
211 is a helpline and website that provides information on and referrals to Alberta’s community, social, health-related and government services.

148 Stony Plain residents received answers for 187 separate needs and were connected to community supports in the last 6 months.
Stony Plain FCSS in partnership with Parkland County and the City of Spruce Grove, launched a HelpSeeker in our community.
HelpSeeker is an online app that allows community to be connected to real time data on community, health and social services supports in our TriRegion.
61% of profiles have been claimed by community partners in just 1 month of use!
Healthy Relationships
47 residents participated in programming to encourage healthy relationships within our community through Domestic Abuse Across the Lifespan. 100% gained more of the necessary knowledge to help support clients facing domestic violence.
27 UpRootAbuse gardens planted a seed of change in our community when local businesses/organizations/community residents (3 gardens were hosted in Parkland County) hosted informative lawn signs on Elder Abuse and community supports for the entire summer.

100% felt they were able to connect another person with valuable information on elder abuse resources in our community.
Stony Plain Facilitated the TREA bi-annual meeting. The TREA CCR is a collaborative effort of stakeholders across the Tri-Region to address elder abuse through awareness, education, and wrap-around supports.
12 cases of Elder Abuse were supported by our network in January-April of 2020.
Preventing & Reducing Poverty
Stony Plain FCSS supported regional efforts to address poverty through participating in the TriRegional Poverty and Homelessness Initiative, Regional Champions Table. The group aims to create a regional strategy to reduce poverty and homelessness.
Income Tax Supports
35 residents (25 Stony Plain, 7 Parkland County, 3 Unknown) were empowered to complete their own taxes at our volunteer supported Free Tax Clinics). 82% felt more supported by Stony Plain FCSS because of this program.

290 residents had taxes completed through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (a partnership with the Federal Government). 100% felt more supported by Stony Plain FCSS because of this program.
Stony Plain FCSS participated in a First 5 Forever meeting for reconnecting, re-envisioning and to consider next steps for community collaboration. This collaboration works to increase awareness, knowledge, development and collaboration of early childhood supports and assets in the community.
Promoting Positive Mental Health
Mental Health Week
May 4 - May 10 was Mental Health Week. This year it was a virtual event that focused on the protective factors for wellness. There were several ways to participate:

Post - Individuals and families were encouraged to post their photos or videos of themselves participating in Mental Health Week activities in order to win prizes purchased from local businesses. Their choices were Instagram and Facebook

Watch - We employed one local videographer to prepare videos focused on mental health featuring the different protective factors and shared tips, ideas and best practices.

Listen - Radio interviews were on 88.1 the One and included local practitioners in the area speaking on nutrition, exercise, creativity, social connection and relaxation.

Join In: We introduced the Zoom Room at Noon with activities including healthy snack demonstrations and recipes, a Zumba class, a jam session, creating in a painting class, and getting Zen in a yoga session. At the end of each Zoom Room participants had an opportunity to discuss how they were really feeling. We paid 5 local entrepreneurs to host our Zoom rooms.
148 post shares
2,346 video views
161 active participants
of people surveyed felt an improved sense of well-being after participating in Mental Health Week activities
With school support coming to an end but the continued wellness support needed, our community partners got together to ensure our youth know of safe spaces and safe adults to connect with over the summer. The TriRegion Bunch is a video spoof on the Brady Bunch and features local community members who partner to ensure youth wellness. The video finds its home on the Community Compass and includes a link to a contact list for key TriRegion partners youth can reach out to if they need help.

The video has had 1.5K views and 29 shares to date.
Virtual Grief Groups
It has been a challenging time to grieve. Two grief groups went virtual to continue to support community members. Participants could call in or Zoom in to participate.

The Parkland Region Grief Group started slowly. The group grows as more community partners make referrals to the group. Grief volunteers Cindy and Linda started their work April 29 and support the group every two weeks through Zoom.
The Living with Loss to Suicide, Survivors' Support Group is a peer group that was well established prior to Covid-19 and so it easily transitioned and has maintained a reduced, but still a significant number, of participants. The group meets the last Monday of every month from January to December. The group met at Rotary Park for their first in-person, physically-distanced support group at the end of June.
Recovery College
Recovery College Program - Comfort the Discomfort, an anxiety support series, was cancelled after the first class due to facility closures. Students of this class will be able to continue this class online. Students will be contacted directly from Recovery College Edmonton with a link option to continue the class. All Recovery College Programs will be delivered online through summer and fall.

Increasing Inclusion & Diversity
73 residents across the TriRegion registered to learn more about supporting and connecting with seniors in our community through the NEW SeniorConnect TriRegion online training program.
100% felt they have more of the necessary knowledge to help support seniors in our community after completing the modules.
In recognition of Seniors Week, Stony Plain FCSS launched the Adopt A Window - Seniors Week project. In this project, volunteers were matched with a Senior and challenged to decorate the senior’s outside window with washable paint. The aim was to spread smiles, happiness and paint with our Stony Plain Seniors. 

From June 1 - June 7, over 120 windows were painted and over 52 volunteers!
COVID-19 created uncertainty in our community and residents may have been feeling worried and isolated. In response, Stony Plain Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) launched Caring Hearts Connection to assist residents in Stony Plain and Parkland County to navigate supports and services during this crisis.

The goal was to see that these connections would reduce social isolation, ensure all residents are supported, and help to provide information to residents on how to have their basic needs met through this difficult time. Utilizing skilled volunteers as Caring Heart Connectors, they have reached out to over 60+ residents over the past couple months.
Together We Shine Project:
One of Stony Plain FCSS main strategic areas is celebrating inclusion and diversity. Working within that theme, our focus is to build resilience and security within our community that will create safe communities. Fostering grassroots efforts to connect and support neighbours, this project will cultivate a culture of care and connection, increased sense of belonging and inclusion, and ultimately create a more healthy and livable town - one block at a time.

Within the past 3 months, Stony Plain FCSS has launched the Neighbourhood Connect initiative along with the Neighbours Meeting Neighbours Community Events program. The vision is a strong, healthy and connected community that cares about their neighbours and celebrates Stony Plain as a great place to call home and each other as good neighbours. Both initiatives aim to empower residents to become a “connector” for their neighbourhood. They are provided with resources, supports and overviews of projects that can assist them to connect and build a stronger community.
Stony Plain FCSS is working on the launch of phase 2 of the Westview Dementia Support Community Collaboration. We are currently working on a framework for a program that will have volunteers connect people living with dementia and their care partners to resources and community. Dementia Connections will create connection opportunities, support those living with dementia and share resources.

Stony Plain FCSS reconvened the WestView Dementia Collaborative and hosted a meeting in early June. This was a great re-connection opportunity. These meetings will continue every second month.

Stony Plain FCSS created a resource card that is available to increase awareness about where to reach out for help regarding Dementia.

Adopt A Driveway 2019/2020
A volunteer service program where individuals commit to removing snow from the driveway of a resident in need.
We are happy to report that 17 residents received service from a volunteer over the winter season. 92% being satisfied with the service provided.
Quote from participant: "I am very satisfied with my volunteer. They go the extra mile"