FOCUS ON SENIORS: A happening place for seniors

Opinion Mar 19, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Visitors to the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre on any given day of the week will see older adults engaged in a variety of activities.

It may even appear as though the activities are endless.

The Beckett Adult Leisure Centre, or BALC, is located in the Beckett Building at 219 Colborne St. The BALC has been in operation for 30 years and currently boasts a membership of 800 to 900 adults over 50 years old. The oldest member is 95. The Centre has accessible doorways, washrooms and an elevator to cater to the ‘slow-go’ senior who might need these important features.

Programming offered at the BALC is part of the City of Brantford parks and recreation department. The mission is to “ensure quality opportunities and experiences, and the conservation of natural spaces, which promote and enhance active lifestyles in a healthy community.” Parks and recreation publishes its Leisure Activities Guide, which is distributed to the community three times each year.

Community development co-ordinator Lori Lafrance and co-ordinator of programs and special events Nadine Majcher lead a small staff group operating the BALC. There are five full-time employees and two part-time employees – assisted by more than 100 volunteers. Instructors teach a variety of programs. Speaking with Lafrance and Majcher, it’s easy to see they share a passion to provide quality programs for older adults and truly care about the individuals they meet on a daily basis.

They are always looking for new programs or services and are keen to respond to customer queries or suggestions.

“If someone wants a particular program and I can find a way to offer it, I’ll do it,” Lafrance said.

Often the development of a new program begins with finding the financial resources to bring it about. As an example, their weight room recently underwent a significant upgrade with new equipment – using funds received through a New Horizons for Seniors federal grant.

Plans are in the works this year to renovate the library and lounge area using similar funding. When complete, the centre will boast a designated space for members to relax before and after programs.

Here, too, they will be able to participate in computer lessons, learning to operate the latest technology such as iPads, tablets, smartphones and laptop computers.

Programming ideas come from the membership through regular evaluations and feedback. Lafrance and Majcher continue to strive for new and exciting programs while improving upon existing ones. There are no age limits or barriers to participation, but programs are geared towards adults with available time to participate.

Further support comes from the Beckett Adult advisory board. Made up of BALC members, this group meets on a regular basis to review programs, services, opportunities, and to provide important feedback regarding enhancements and improvements.

Their insight is valuable and appreciated.

While you don’t need to be a BALC member to join in, annual membership is reasonably priced and has tremendous value. Members enjoy reduced rates for instructional programs and are able to purchase membership with or without parking. Annual membership without parking is $35 and with parking is $47.25. Entitled to four hours of free parking while at the BALC, members can park in the municipal garage or in the farmer’s market parking lot.

Lafrance and Majcher are well versed in programs and services for older adults and seniors in the community. They are proud of the community relationships that have developed over the years with such organizations as the Grand River Council on Aging, the Brant County Health Unit, the SAFE Zone exercise program and more.

They want people to know about the food service and the many volunteer opportunities. People can drop in to the second floor of the Beckett Building, Monday to Friday, for a very reasonably priced lunch which includes beverage and dessert. From food preparation to serving customers and dishwashing, volunteering in the cafeteria is a great way to meet new people, enjoy good food and have fun.

They are always on the search for more volunteers. In order to provide the food service and offer diverse programs. They look for people with the skill sets to instruct classes ranging from intermediate bridge to tai chi or line dancing.

Older adults choosing the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre to spend their leisure time will keep active minds and bodies, learn new skills and make new friends.

It truly is a happening place with something for everyone and is very age-friendly.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: A happening place for seniors

Beckett Adult Leisure Centre offers diverse programming

Opinion Mar 19, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Visitors to the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre on any given day of the week will see older adults engaged in a variety of activities.

It may even appear as though the activities are endless.

The Beckett Adult Leisure Centre, or BALC, is located in the Beckett Building at 219 Colborne St. The BALC has been in operation for 30 years and currently boasts a membership of 800 to 900 adults over 50 years old. The oldest member is 95. The Centre has accessible doorways, washrooms and an elevator to cater to the ‘slow-go’ senior who might need these important features.

Programming offered at the BALC is part of the City of Brantford parks and recreation department. The mission is to “ensure quality opportunities and experiences, and the conservation of natural spaces, which promote and enhance active lifestyles in a healthy community.” Parks and recreation publishes its Leisure Activities Guide, which is distributed to the community three times each year.

Community development co-ordinator Lori Lafrance and co-ordinator of programs and special events Nadine Majcher lead a small staff group operating the BALC. There are five full-time employees and two part-time employees – assisted by more than 100 volunteers. Instructors teach a variety of programs. Speaking with Lafrance and Majcher, it’s easy to see they share a passion to provide quality programs for older adults and truly care about the individuals they meet on a daily basis.

They are always looking for new programs or services and are keen to respond to customer queries or suggestions.

“If someone wants a particular program and I can find a way to offer it, I’ll do it,” Lafrance said.

Often the development of a new program begins with finding the financial resources to bring it about. As an example, their weight room recently underwent a significant upgrade with new equipment – using funds received through a New Horizons for Seniors federal grant.

Plans are in the works this year to renovate the library and lounge area using similar funding. When complete, the centre will boast a designated space for members to relax before and after programs.

Here, too, they will be able to participate in computer lessons, learning to operate the latest technology such as iPads, tablets, smartphones and laptop computers.

Programming ideas come from the membership through regular evaluations and feedback. Lafrance and Majcher continue to strive for new and exciting programs while improving upon existing ones. There are no age limits or barriers to participation, but programs are geared towards adults with available time to participate.

Further support comes from the Beckett Adult advisory board. Made up of BALC members, this group meets on a regular basis to review programs, services, opportunities, and to provide important feedback regarding enhancements and improvements.

Their insight is valuable and appreciated.

While you don’t need to be a BALC member to join in, annual membership is reasonably priced and has tremendous value. Members enjoy reduced rates for instructional programs and are able to purchase membership with or without parking. Annual membership without parking is $35 and with parking is $47.25. Entitled to four hours of free parking while at the BALC, members can park in the municipal garage or in the farmer’s market parking lot.

Lafrance and Majcher are well versed in programs and services for older adults and seniors in the community. They are proud of the community relationships that have developed over the years with such organizations as the Grand River Council on Aging, the Brant County Health Unit, the SAFE Zone exercise program and more.

They want people to know about the food service and the many volunteer opportunities. People can drop in to the second floor of the Beckett Building, Monday to Friday, for a very reasonably priced lunch which includes beverage and dessert. From food preparation to serving customers and dishwashing, volunteering in the cafeteria is a great way to meet new people, enjoy good food and have fun.

They are always on the search for more volunteers. In order to provide the food service and offer diverse programs. They look for people with the skill sets to instruct classes ranging from intermediate bridge to tai chi or line dancing.

Older adults choosing the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre to spend their leisure time will keep active minds and bodies, learn new skills and make new friends.

It truly is a happening place with something for everyone and is very age-friendly.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: A happening place for seniors

Beckett Adult Leisure Centre offers diverse programming

Opinion Mar 19, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Visitors to the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre on any given day of the week will see older adults engaged in a variety of activities.

It may even appear as though the activities are endless.

The Beckett Adult Leisure Centre, or BALC, is located in the Beckett Building at 219 Colborne St. The BALC has been in operation for 30 years and currently boasts a membership of 800 to 900 adults over 50 years old. The oldest member is 95. The Centre has accessible doorways, washrooms and an elevator to cater to the ‘slow-go’ senior who might need these important features.

Programming offered at the BALC is part of the City of Brantford parks and recreation department. The mission is to “ensure quality opportunities and experiences, and the conservation of natural spaces, which promote and enhance active lifestyles in a healthy community.” Parks and recreation publishes its Leisure Activities Guide, which is distributed to the community three times each year.

Community development co-ordinator Lori Lafrance and co-ordinator of programs and special events Nadine Majcher lead a small staff group operating the BALC. There are five full-time employees and two part-time employees – assisted by more than 100 volunteers. Instructors teach a variety of programs. Speaking with Lafrance and Majcher, it’s easy to see they share a passion to provide quality programs for older adults and truly care about the individuals they meet on a daily basis.

They are always looking for new programs or services and are keen to respond to customer queries or suggestions.

“If someone wants a particular program and I can find a way to offer it, I’ll do it,” Lafrance said.

Often the development of a new program begins with finding the financial resources to bring it about. As an example, their weight room recently underwent a significant upgrade with new equipment – using funds received through a New Horizons for Seniors federal grant.

Plans are in the works this year to renovate the library and lounge area using similar funding. When complete, the centre will boast a designated space for members to relax before and after programs.

Here, too, they will be able to participate in computer lessons, learning to operate the latest technology such as iPads, tablets, smartphones and laptop computers.

Programming ideas come from the membership through regular evaluations and feedback. Lafrance and Majcher continue to strive for new and exciting programs while improving upon existing ones. There are no age limits or barriers to participation, but programs are geared towards adults with available time to participate.

Further support comes from the Beckett Adult advisory board. Made up of BALC members, this group meets on a regular basis to review programs, services, opportunities, and to provide important feedback regarding enhancements and improvements.

Their insight is valuable and appreciated.

While you don’t need to be a BALC member to join in, annual membership is reasonably priced and has tremendous value. Members enjoy reduced rates for instructional programs and are able to purchase membership with or without parking. Annual membership without parking is $35 and with parking is $47.25. Entitled to four hours of free parking while at the BALC, members can park in the municipal garage or in the farmer’s market parking lot.

Lafrance and Majcher are well versed in programs and services for older adults and seniors in the community. They are proud of the community relationships that have developed over the years with such organizations as the Grand River Council on Aging, the Brant County Health Unit, the SAFE Zone exercise program and more.

They want people to know about the food service and the many volunteer opportunities. People can drop in to the second floor of the Beckett Building, Monday to Friday, for a very reasonably priced lunch which includes beverage and dessert. From food preparation to serving customers and dishwashing, volunteering in the cafeteria is a great way to meet new people, enjoy good food and have fun.

They are always on the search for more volunteers. In order to provide the food service and offer diverse programs. They look for people with the skill sets to instruct classes ranging from intermediate bridge to tai chi or line dancing.

Older adults choosing the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre to spend their leisure time will keep active minds and bodies, learn new skills and make new friends.

It truly is a happening place with something for everyone and is very age-friendly.