The Town of New Glasgow has been named a finalist for an international award that recognizes the best solutions and services in the field of aging well. The town is competing in a field of 50 candidates from Canada, the United States, and around the world.
“We are very pleased that the Age Friendly Community Plan has moved on to the finals,” says New Glasgow’s director of community economic development, Geralyn MacDonald. “From the beginning, we’ve known this plan was a winner, based on the buy-in and support we’ve received from the community. To have the strategy and the work we’ve completed in New Glasgow stand out in this forum is the icing on the cake.”
By adopting the Age Friendly Community plan in 2014, New Glasgow prioritized ensuring that its infrastructure, programs, and services respond to the needs of an aging population. Some examples of the work completed include age-friendly signage, sidewalk upgrades, seniors programming, regional workshops including a workshop to promote business opportunities for an aging population, and hiring an age-friendly summer assistant.
New Glasgow also partnered in the 55 Plus Games in 2015, an event that enjoyed increased participation, and hosted a very successful Silver Economy Summit, which particularly caught the attention of the awards committee. Most recently, the town hosted a mentorship program, which trains retirees to mentor career-minded youth. The town is also working towards accessibility in all its buildings and is partnering with the local seniors club to establish an Age Friendly Centre.
When the plan was launched, the town began using it as a companion piece to its Community Economic Development Plan.
Mayor Nancy Dicks feels it has been a winning strategy for New Glasgow. “The benefit of an age-friendly approach is in making the community accessible and welcoming for all ages, from 8 to 80. Many thanks to all our partners for helping us make significant progress towards greater inclusion.”
In moving to the finals, the town’s application will be reviewed by an international jury of Silver Economy experts. Part of the process includes community support, in the form of online voting.
MacDonald is hoping to tap into the region’s competitive nature to help New Glasgow’s application rise to the top.
“This community has always been unsurpassed in terms of mobilizing to support our own. We invite and encourage anyone with access to a computer to vote once a day from now until voting closes on March 7.”
People can vote by visiting: http://www.silvereco.org/awards/vote-for-your-candidate/