Stony Plain FCSS Quarterly Report
July - September 2020

Stony Plain and area residents are enriched through a strong, healthy, connected community.
Director's Message
We spent the summer planning for relaunch and delivering fall programs in the safest way possible. Most of our sessions are a blend of in-person and online. In July we helped the Mayor’s Task Force COVID 19 Social Stream wrap up. The recommendations included a continued focus on mental wellness efforts and increasing community inclusion. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our community and expect challenges to continue. We know our community members care about one another and are committed to working together. We are pleased to support this journey. Lisa
Volunteer Centre
We have been supporting organizations through relaunch by sharing learning opportunities, funding, and resources.
While practicing physical distancing and being aware of social distance, we learned that we can still address needs at the community level (family, friends, neighbours) and build abundant communities. Our Adopt a Driveway Program will shift to a Good Neighbour Snow Shovelling Campaign, encouraging residents to clear snow for residents who are unable to.
We were quick to react and change the ways we offer existing opportunities for engagement to be more in line with skilled volunteerism trends (online and informal). We engaged virtual volunteers with: Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, Caring Friends Bereavement Support, Neighbourhood Connect, Caring Hearts Connections, and Dementia Connections Program. These programs are available to assist with the wellbeing of our residents.
Stony Plain Youth Centre (SPYC)
The Virtual Youth Centre (YC) continued in Q3 gaining 22 followers on the Facebook page, 3 on Snapchat, and 58 on the Instagram page. Direct contact was received from 7 followers via Facebook, 16 via Snapchat, and 33 via Instagram.

There were 398 instances of engagement on Facebook which includes comments and reactions to posts. Facebook data estimates that Virtual YC posts reached an average of 235 people per week, with a sharp drop in the last weeks of August, followed by a large spike of just over 600 in the first few weeks of September. There were 433 recorded 'likes' on Instagram posts in Q3.

July Highlights
Due to previous intergenerational engagement during Seniors Week, the YC was asked to return to the Whispering Waters Care Facility and repaint windows for Canada Day. Staff were joined by 5 youth volunteers who wanted to share their artistic talents.
SPYC staff and 4 youth volunteers supported the Town of Stony Plain Canada Day flag initiative by preparing and packaging over 7000 flags to be distributed throughout neighbourhoods by volunteers from the community.
The “Virtual Summer Camp” series featured a different theme each week and included interactive challenges each day with prizes being offered. Themes for the month included ‘Art Week’, ‘Photography Week’, ‘Snack Week’, and ‘STEM Week’.  
International Youth Day 2020

The SPYC collaborated with some of our local partners to organize a town wide scavenger hunt in celebration of Youth Day 2020.
Youth received clues that would lead them to participating members of the Youth Mental Health Coalition who were located throughout the community. The event was intended to introduce youth to other safe adults in the Tri-Region and to provide them with some resources and connections regarding mental health. Most of all, the event was intended to be a fun and safe celebration of our youth. There were 9 youth and their families, as well as 3 service partners join us for the afternoon.
August Highlights

The SPYC Youth Development Coordinator worked the PCN Mental Health Youth Advisory to plan an intergenerational COVID-19 community art project.

Staff also collaborated in a Tri-Region Art Contest to get youth involved in the creation of a message of thanks to our local volunteers. The contest saw a total of 14 submissions from our youth in the Stony Plain/Parkland area, two of which were selected to be featured in a local mail out campaign.
Back to School Event

The Youth Centre was able to provide backpacks and school supplies for families in need thanks to the generosity of our community.

Immanuel Lutheran Church provided backpacks for the campaign and supplies were purchased with funding received from the Compete to Contribute initiative. Staff and 2 youth volunteers prepared 31 backpacks for pick up.

Families that were referred also received a hygiene kit courtesy of WE CARE, coupons for 2 free pizzas from Atomic Pizza and hoodies courtesy of CEYS.

Technology was identified as a need for 5 additional families as their children could not return to school and required chromebooks to join virtual classrooms. CEYS donated 5 Chromebooks, 5 graphing calculators and additional $2500 to cover the cost of future technology needs that might arise.
SPYC Relaunch

The Youth Centre facility reopened 2 days each week to offer in person activities as of September 1st.

In preparation for reopening, youth were invited to submit COVID-19 memes via social media in order to encourage them to be a part of our reopening plan. There were 16 youth registered through the SPYC booking system in order to access programming.

In total, there were 10 prize packs and 16 WE CARE hygiene boxes distributed to Stony Plain and Parkland youth who participated in summer challenges and relaunch activities.
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 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 Tri-Region.
Healthy Relationships
TREA CCR is a collaborative effort of 20 community partners across the Tri-Region to address elder abuse through awareness, education, and wrap-around supports.

Our intention is to connect vulnerable older adults to supports in a respectful and considerate way. TREA CCR supports assisted with 4 cases of Elder Abuse in our Tri-Region in the last quarter (16 YTD). Read July TREA report here
Preventing & Reducing Poverty
Stony Plain FCSS is partnering with The City of Spruce Grove on a Tri-Regional Poverty and Homelessness change initiative. This initiative aims to reduce and prevent homelessness within Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, and Parkland County by addressing homelessness and housing gaps across the region.

In this quarter, Stony Plain FCSS participated on the Champions Table; a group of citizens and community organizations that act as a core group of champions to foster and initiate coordinated homelessness and poverty reduction strategies, projects, and initiatives within the Tri-Region.

In addition, the Regional Housing Program was launched. The Regional Housing program will provide support to clients from across the Tri-Region to address and gain access to; basic needs, housing placement, and support services, including soft hand-off to community and regional partners to support housing sustainability.
Promoting Positive Mental Health
A video, which went viral, was created for the run to talk about the impact of suicide  and raise funds for suicide awareness.
Suicide Awareness Week
Several events took place for Suicide Awareness week including the Rotary Run for Life, the Wear and Share campaign, and community light up.

The online campaign for Wear and Share your story reached 5270 views, 116 people clicked on the resources linked to the post, and 192 people shared the campaign.
Community training like Psychological First Aid are part of a continuing plan to support recovery for our community. To date 53 community partners and residents have participated in this program endorsed by Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta.
A few community partners attended the Suicide 2 Hope training in Calgary. The program is for caregivers working with those recently at risk of and currently safe from suicide to expand our support network for individuals and youth in the community.
Enhancing Inclusion & Diversity

  • 3964 connection minutes recorded to date for the Caring Hearts Connection Program!
  • 6 actively engaged volunteer connectors making regular wellness check phone calls to Stony Plain residents.
  • 85% of residents report they feel supported by the Caring Hearts Connection Project.

The relationships built through this program are long lasting.
Quote from Volunteer Connector: "I can tell you with absolute certainty that your program is so incredibly valuable to the seniors, especially in these times."
Comments from participants include:"I just love her calls! Its the perfect match! Couldn't have found me a better volunteer!"
Dementia Connection Launched in Tri Region

In mid August, our office launched the Dementia Connections Project. The goal is to create
and maintain inclusive and welcoming dementia-friendly environments within the Tri Region by bringing together Community Champion Connector volunteers with people living with dementia and their carepartners
for social engagement opportunities.

Since launching the Dementia Connection Project in mid August, 6 committed and dedicated volunteers have signed up to be Dementia Connectors and are completing their training.
At the end of September we can report that we have successfully matched 3 families living with dementia to their connector volunteers.
One care partner in the program indicated she is excited about the connectors program and was happy to have someone to talk to on the phone.
The WestView Dementia Collaborative Group continues to meet every second month to share resources, identify gaps, and provide community updates.
Connecting our Community
Senior Connect
Since launched in April 2020, 115 caring community members have signed up for SeniorConnect training.
Our community is stronger for it! A Connector can make a real difference in the lives of seniors in our region. Please encourage your peers, network, and friends to take the training!

Over the summer months, the Community Events Project was made available as a resource to encourage neighbours to meet their neighbours. The Guide has many ideas on how to get together with your neighbours while respecting physical distancing. The community events guide was updated to reflect COVID-19 protocols and is available on our website.

Big block parties may not be possible, but Stony Plain Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) wanted to recognize Neighbours Day 2020 by encouraging residents to thank their neighbours. With thank you cards made available at several locations in Stony Plain, residents wrote a message of appreciation and delivered them to their special neighbours on September 19, 2020, Neighbours Day.
We had 7 participating partner locations, with 89% of partners indicating this project: allowed them to be more involved in their community. 89% also report: Neighbours Day helped residents feel a sense of belonging and strengthened the relationships between neighbours.
Quote from Resident: "After the first card went around the neighbourhood, other families jumped on board and sent their own cards out too. People reconnected that hadn't spoken in over 6 months and we found out that someone had lost their husband and was undergoing cancer treatment. Without these cards to force us to connect, we would not have found out that she was in need of support."
Neighbourhood Connect - Neighbours helping Neighbours 
Recognizing that neighbours are our most powerful resource, Stony Plain Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) launched a Neighbourhood Connect project to support, inspire and further connect neighbours and neighbourhoods.

In the past quarter (July/Aug/Sept), 8 volunteers have registered to be Neighbourhood Connectors!

Many of our Neighbourhood Connectors participated in Neighbours Day. Quote from Connector: " I delivered cards to 13 neighbours. Some people weren't home but I left the cards. Other people I connected with. One neighbour suggested we walk together (she sees me out walking my dog everyday), so there is the opportunity for increasing relationship. Another neighbour I had been waving at throughout Covid, but I finally had a chance to chat and see how they were doing when I dropped off the card. Another neighbour's wife had been hospitalized, and I could offer more tangible supports. I am so thankful for these cards which were a great platform for helping me connect with neighbours!"

For more information about the project, or to register as a volunteer, visit Follow us on social media for Neighbourhood Connector ideas.
Alberta Culture Days is an opportunity to discover, experience, and celebrate arts and culture through local events and activities, in-person and online, across the province.  Stony Plain FCSS is a proud partner along with the Multicultural Heritage Centre and several community partners who are offering events and activities in support of Alberta Culture Days to enhance multiculturalism within Stony Plain.   

By being a participating partner in Alberta Culture Days, it allows our community to move forward in meeting our commitment to enhance inclusion by increasing awareness as to the value that cultural diversity brings to our community.  
Stony Plain FCSS hosted the Together We Shine Patchwork Puzzle social media campaign. For the last week of September (Sept 23 – Sept 30), in honour of AB Culture Days, 11 residents shared their piece of the Stony Plain puzzle featuring what culture they celebrate.
This campaign provided each of us with an opportunity to see how diverse Stony Plain is and how we are all connected at the same time. The campaign offered us a chance to get to know our neighbours a little better and the hope is that it sparks conversation and generates new ways of seeing ourselves, each other and our community.
A total of 8 Cultural Campfires took place this year taking us to Norway, Russia, the Congo, the Philippines, Germany, Ireland, China, and talked about the Culture of Drag. The online campaign reached 7894 people and was shared 318

In addition, 86 guests joined on zoom or in person for the live event and the link was sent to several seniors homes for viewing as part of the day program.

For the Alberta Culture Days Campfire, approximately 20 guests attended the Cultural Campfire on a sunny Sunday afternoon to hear Chinese Story's and watch a lion dance demonstration from Silent River Kung Fu. There was also a digital audience on the zoom link and a Facebook live event.
Orange Shirt Day, Sept 30th. In honour of residential school survivors and in memory of those who did not. 
Wearing an orange shirt shows every victim there is one more person on their side!
Stony Plain FCSS participates in the annual Orange Shirt Day Awareness Campaign, to join the conversation on the impact of residential schools.
In July, the COVID response action groups reformatted into Community Action Groups, focusing on Basic Needs, Safety & Security, Inclusive & Vibrant Communities, and Health Wellness & Learning.
During July, August and September, Stony Plain FCSS hosted 12 community action group meetings with over 88 people participating. Community Action Groups continue to meet on a monthly basis.
The Thread, an electronic newsletter, continues to be a valuable resource for our community partners and is being released every 2 weeks as a way to summarize the community action groups work and share resources. 8 editions of the Thread have been distributed in the last 3 months.