February 7, 2008: New program for seniors to provide leadership training

      Thursday, February 7, 2008
      Contact Betty Baxter at 604.885.9310

      (SECHELT, B.C.)—A new program starting this spring at Capilano’s Sunshine Coast campus will provide training to older residents who want to actively participate in the shaping of their community.

      The Civic Leadership for Seniors program, funded by the Union of BC Municipalities in partnership with Capilano and the Sunshine Coast Regional District, will bring people aged 55 and over together with community experts to learn about community organizations, institutions, issues and processes.

      “There are so many talented older people living on the Sunshine Coast who can help address regional issues in the areas of growth, development and maintenance of the region’s natural environment,” says Capilano’s campus dean, Jean Bennett. “This program will help them develop the skills to be effective in a volunteer leadership role up to and including public office.”

      Expected to run over a period of approximately eight days, the program will include classroom presentations, panels, site visits, and dialogues with community leaders. Building upon the success of Capilano’s Eldercollege program, it will offer retired and semi-retired residents an opportunity to utilize their creativity, dedication and knowledge in a leadership role.

      “I am really pleased that the program development is now underway,” says Area B director, Garry Nohr, who worked to move this program forward with the SCRD. “The major goals reflect our belief that organizations from all sectors benefit from healthy and dynamic participation of older members of the community.”

      Program coordinator, Betty Baxter, has many years’ experience in leadership training and organizational development with various levels of government and non-profit organizations. A volunteer committee, comprised mainly of members who are retired or semi-retired, will provide program direction, assistance and oversight. More details of the program will be made available in the coming weeks.