Being part of a vital community contributes to our overall wellness. Just a few months ago, The Mane Intent hosted one of 109 Vital Conversations that took place in October 2017 as part of Greater Peterborough’s Vital Signs initiative. Over 700 people across the community came together to talk about the tough decisions the community is facing and hopes for the future.
“A vital community is prosperous, sustainable and resilient,” says John Good, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough.
Yesterday, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough released the results of this community engagement initiative at an event intended to facilitate meaningful connections and community action. Once again, we were honoured to support this community initiative and responded to the Foundation’s invitation to host a table focused on community leadership. We were pleased to support the organization’s call for natural leaders to step forward and support the 10 community priorities summarized from these conversations. Here they are:
- Strengthen Community Connections: Create places and spaces for diverse people to gather, bringing neighbours together, developing youth-friendly events and spaces, nurturing inter-generational connections, using digital technology to encourage volunteerism, and nurturing local arts and culture.
- Supporting Economic Development: Connecting more job searches to employment services, creating pathways to local jobs for Trent and Fleming grads, attracting and retaining young people to live in the community, and supporting local business.
- Doing the Work of Reconciliation: Building awareness of recolonization and the Williams Treaty, taking up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, developing stronger relationships between non-profits and local First Nations and urban Indigenous communities, helping settler communities build a deeper understanding of Indigenous cultures.
- Building a Safe and Inclusive Community: Improving inclusion in community and civic life, addressing harassment and hate in public spaces, improving cross cultural literacy, expanding local services to meet the diversity of our community, improving accessibility of local businesses, services and events.
- Meeting Everyone’s Basic Needs: Ensuring an adequate supply of safe, decent and affordable housing, increasing incomes through policy changes, building food security for everyone.
- Enriching Community Dialogue: Reframing community issues, breaking down stigma surrounding poverty, mental health, ability and racism, keep meaningful community conversations going.
- Deepen Civic Engagement: Encouraging civic engagement, cultivating diverse and visionary leadership, improving communication with local governments.
- Enhance and expand public transit: Improving the accessibility, reliability and affordability of public transit, providing public transit services in rural areas, improving regional transportation and transit connections outside of the Peterborough area.
- Improve Access to Health and Wellness: Improving access to social services and health care in rural communities, increasing accessibility of mental health services and programs, improving local access to drug and alcohol counseling and treatment programs, and protecting local greenspaces.
- Keep Schools Open: Recognizing the important role of schools in anchoring communities, especially in rural areas, working collectively and innovatively to keep schools thriving.
The Foundation also launched the “Vital Community Fund”, a permanent endowment that will grow over time and will provide grants to support the people, ideas and actions that build community vitality, for years to come.
“We received a lot of positive feedback from the people who participated in Vital Conversations,” says Good. “Many people said that they wanted to do something more: take action, get involved, make meaningful change. We feel the same way, and the Vital Community Fund is our way of sustaining the momentum of this movement for community vitality.”
For more information on the full list of priorities or to donate to the Vital Community Fund, visit www.cfgp.ca or call the Community Foundation at 705-740-2347.
About the Author: Jennifer Garland is the Owner/Program Director of The Mane Intent, offering Health and Wellness Workshops and Individual and Team Effectiveness Coaching. Jennifer’s intent is to bring horses and humans together to explore new possibilities, getting you out of your comfort zone and giving clarity of voice to your leader within. She has over 25 years of leadership experience in communications, cause-related marketing and change management. As a strategist, facilitator and effectiveness coach, Jennifer has provided counsel and support to senior leaders from all walks of life to build productive relationships, facilitate learning and to embrace change. She is a ‘socialpreneur’ who values the art of living life fully with intent.
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