On February 27th the BCHLA (BC Healthy Living Alliance) hosted a Community Engagement Meeting for Tumbler Ridge in the Community Centre. 22 participants attended this well advertised facilitation. BCHLA is so far the largest initiative put together in British Columbia towards healthy living. This movement is carried out by a strong non-profit alliance of the nine most influential health-supportive organizations. The province of British Columbia is in partnership with BCHLA through its ActNow initiative. ?Recognizing the alignment between ActNow BC and BCHLA, the Province invested $25.2 million in BCHLA to start working towards their shared vision of a healthier future?. This is the biggest funding towards a healthier life-style for British Columbia residents ever.
In the Friday meeting, the BCHLA facilitator for the Northern Region Kerensa Medhurst, presented in her introduction the facts about healthy life-styles in the North. In all three aspects – activities, eating, smoke-reduction – the northern region of British Columbia displays alarming results that reside much below the average data for the Province as a whole.
The BCHLA developed four strategies to achieve their goal of making ?BC the healthiest region to ever host the Winter Olympics and Paralympic games?. It is The Healthy Eating Strategy, Physical Activity Strategy and Tobacco Reduction Strategy and the Community Capacity Building Strategy. The Community Capacity is the foundation for all actions when it comes to proceed with the three health-strategies (activities, eating, and tobacco-reduction).
The first step in the process to provide Tumbler Ridge?s residents with resources to make healthier life-style choices, was the BCHLA connecting with the TLF (Terry Lansdowne Foundation),a Tumbler Ridge based non-profit organization known to BCHLA. Community Development Leader Heidy Kux-Kardos will be an advocate for healthy life-styles. TLF accepted to be the community connection for this initiative as its mandate is in full alignment with the goal of BCHLA. TLF?s mission is not limited to a specific purpose, but is promoting the wellbeing of individuals therefore the wellbeing of the community or society as a whole. In its Creative Peace events TLF organizes multi-day public events with workshops and lectures around health and individual wellbeing through outdoors and creativity. After the two successful Creative Peace events in 2008 there are three weekend-events planned for 2009. The next event will take place on April 3th,4th and 5th. The coming event will incorporate actions following the three healthy living strategies as stated by BCHLA and provide Tumbler Ridge residents with additional information. At this point the BCHLA facilitating session and the future focus of the TLF points to detect needs in our community and develop programs to satisfy these needs. As an immediate action a project will connect with community resources for healthier life-style to provide supporting link from these resources back to the residents. Several stake-holders, the Community Centre and the Public Library, are already on board with TLF/BCHLA. If you are providing service as an individual or group, paid or not-for- profit, or you know about a need related to the healthy living for our community, please contact TLF-Mila Lansdowne (TLF) @ 250-242-3389 or Heidy Kux-Kardos (BCHLA) @ 250.782.7045