Two St. Albert metropolis committees are working collectively on a program designed to attach and construct relationships between seniors and youth.
On March 10, the St. Albert Seniors Committee was joined by the St. Albert Youth Committee for his or her second annual joint assembly. The primary one occurred final October, the place each committees agreed to host one joint-meeting per 12 months.
“What we realized popping out of that assembly was that we now have so many frequent pursuits, and we’re alike in so some ways,” defined Barbara Hahn, chair of the seniors committee. “So why not work collectively? As a result of there’s all the time a mission that may be labored on to make the neighborhood higher.”
Each generations have skilled a way of loss through the pandemic, with commencement ceremonies cancelled and household visits now not allowed, Hahn mentioned. However in addition they realized they needed to work collectively to advocate for options – from considerations about modifications to bus routes, to psychological well being and low-income points.
Because of this, the 2 teams talked about establishing a subcommittee manufactured from youth and senior members, mentioned Matthew Jackson, chair of the youth committee. The subcommittee may facilitate a mentorship program the place older and youthful St. Albertans may speak and spend time collectively.
“Having that type of interplay between totally different generations is helpful for either side. We are able to be taught so much from seniors, and seniors can get so much from the youth as effectively,” he mentioned.
For instance, one of many concepts proposed was a youth and senior recreation league, the place youthful and older St. Albertans may socialize and play a recreation of pickleball collectively. Older generations may additionally cross on a number of the classes they’ve realized all through their life, whereas youthful generations may reply technological questions or do some volunteer work in return.
“It was good to simply have a chat to say, ‘What’s everyone doing? And the way’s everyone feeling? Is there something that we work on collectively?” Hahn mentioned.
In society, it may be tough for youthful and older generations to cross paths and join in significant methods. This collaboration is one technique to bridge that hole, Jackson mentioned, however a joint subcommittee can even assist elevate their voices collectively.
“We would be able to carry our voices a bit additional collectively than we might aside,” he mentioned.
‘A lot of our points overlap – restricted revenue, inexpensive housing, and, after all, the impacts of COVID. All of those have an effect on each demographics equally, and having each of our voices in the identical house may really amplify our considerations a bit greater than if we have been simply separate committees.”
Hahn mentioned she is delighted on the prospect of connecting with youth in the neighborhood via this collaboration.
“It is fantastic to see the place the following technology of leaders goes to return from, and these younger persons are keen to step out and try to do one thing constructive for his or her neighborhood,” she mentioned.
Coun. Ray Watkins sits on each the youth and senior committees. He mentioned he helped initiate the primary joint assembly after listening to each teams speak about related considerations.
“I assumed, we have to get these two teams collectively as a result of they will actually assist one another,” Watkins mentioned. “You’re taking the knowledge of seniors and the creativity of youth, add that collectively, and you may make magic.”
One suggestion popping out of the primary assembly was the addition of a direct north-to-south bus route in St. Albert to ease journey from one finish of the town to the opposite. Senior and youth members mentioned they needed to make a number of transfers to get from Erin Ridge North to the brand new Nakî Transit Centre.
Transit is struggling proper now with low ridership amid the COVID-19 pandemic, however Watkins mentioned he would assist a year-long pilot mission to see how ridership performs with a direct north-to-south route.
“As soon as issues get again to regular, it might be good to see that route instituted. Let’s have a look at if there’s ridership on it.”
Conversations are within the works about establishing the subcommittee with the town, Jackson mentioned. In accordance with the town’s committee bylaws, committees can type subcommittees to take care of particular points.
If all the things goes as deliberate, he mentioned he hopes the collaboration between youth and seniors in St. Albert may encourage different crossovers within the province.
“I have not seen this in every other communities actually, which is a disgrace. Maybe it will be a instance for different communities to observe.”