Snow buddies keep seniors safe

Vernon’s NexusBC Community Resource Centre is in need of snow shovellers

Vernon’s NexusBC Community Resource Centre is in need of snow shovellers to help local seniors keep their driveways and sidewalks clear.

“Last year, we were short several snow buddies,” said Jennifer Guscott, seniors services co-ordinator for NexusBC, which facilitates the Snow Buddy program.

“This year, we’re really trying to bump up the number of volunteers by recruiting students.”

According to Ministry of Education policy, high school students are required to complete 30 hours of volunteer service or work experience in order to graduate.

“In return for snow shovelling, students get their volunteer hours needed for graduation, and can feel proud that they’re making a difference to a senior in our community,” said Guscott.

The list of seniors needing snow removal services is growing, but Guscott is still encouraging seniors needing help to call.

“This program is about preventing slips and falls,” said Guscott. “Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls, and over half of seniors’ falls occur outdoors.”

Seniors are placed on a wait list until a suitable buddy can be found.

“The city has provided us with the opportunity to reward Snow Buddies who are nominated,” said Guscott.

Nominees are eligible to win one of five $100 cash prizes.

To register for the program, call NexusBC at 250-545-8572.