10513434_10152589330061779_8651867709422710625_nBy Barb Goode

Burnaby Neighbourhood house’s Seniors Ambassador program creates connection for isolated seniors.

An Ambassador is a volunteer senior who lives in the Burnaby community and who is interested in supporting other seniors. Ambassadors are expected to first learn and then share information with seniors. I am one of the newest Seniors Ambassadors and am looking forward to helping and reaching out to other seniors in my community. Paired together, Ambassador will visit seniors .

We will listen and share space with this senior. We will notice and pay attention to the senior.

As seniors ourselves, Ambassadors bring understanding.

To become a Seniors Ambassador, I completed eight sessions of training over four weeks.

We learned about the neighbourhood house, community resources, listening techniques, reaching out, etc.

It was a lot of information so it was important to ask questions and get some support.

There were 10-12 seniors who joined together for this round of training. I already made two friends.

Coming together from different nationalities and learning styles meant that we could learn from each other.

We did a lot of role playing which was really helpful.

I also wanted to make sure the Seniors Ambassadors knew about my diverse abilities and the diverse abilities community.

Together with Meaghen, we organized a workshop about the history, current situation, and ideas/tips about the Community Living movement.

It was a lot of fun to present to other Seniors Ambassadors.

We are all leaders. Now we are becoming leaders who are also seniors.

Join me in making sure our self-advocate voices are included in leadership with seniors. Consider going in to your neighbourhood house or joining a leadership program at your local seniors center.

If you would like to find out about a neighbourhood house in your area go to the Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC:

http://www.anhbc.org/