Wellness centre to promote adult activity opens

Jonathan Parsons
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A partnership between the Seniors Resource Centre Peer Support Volunteers and Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation has led to an activity facility to be opened to the adult public in Bonavista.

The Wellness Centre is open to the adult public in Bonavista to promote activity and healthy living. It is open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The facility is located in the federal building in downtown Bonavista and is the Peer Support Volunteer’s room and equipment. The chairperson of the Peer Support Volunteers, Bill Abbott, offered the use of his group’s space and exercise gear to Lorie Paterson along with Patti Hoddinott, the co-chairs of the Health promotion subcommittee of Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation.

Paterson used the idea to suggest the partnership that they are initiating.

She told The Packet, “I approached him with the idea of using their space, as an exercise area.”

Abbott and the Peer Support Volunteers were very generous to offer their resources to the public to ensure a positive health trend in the community.

While the group that Abbott represents is a non-profit seniors group, the new initiative is for all adults. There are 55 of these programs in the province and 160 volunteers.

Recently their program expanded from activity in the Dean Little room in Cabot Stadium to their rented area in the federal building.

 “We decided to combine with these people because we were finding that a lot of people couldn’t walk around the stadium. It was too wet, it was too cold,” Abbott says.

The partnership developed from there and now they are situated in the new location.

Abbott says the decision to open the facilities to the entire adult public was an important one, but it is still important for seniors to be active. They are still very much a part of these activities.

He says the turnout has been excellent and they have generated participation and volunteers as well.

“We’re hoping this will encourage some of the seniors,” Abbott says.

The centre is free of charge and it is acknowledged that both cost and socialization are determining factors in getting people to be active.

Paterson says, “The concept is sort of the broad definition of health, so we’re incorporating not only physical activity but there’s also an adjacent room that we’re using. And there’s tea and coffee and we’re going to be purchasing some board games and some things. So the idea that people will socialize as well and do some of those activities that we know are important to overall health.

“One of the biggest things that keeps people healthy and active and even (with) longevity, is socialization.”

The adjacent room is being provided courtesy of Crime Prevention.

The issue of having an exercise facility in the Bonavista area is an important one, as there has not been a gym or other exercise business for some time now.

There are other partners in this endeavor through funding from the Eastern Regional Wellness Coalition. Also the Anglican Square Dance group will be a part of the overall funding program and will be a part of the planned activities in the future.

Paterson is a physiotherapist and Hoddinott is also a health care professional, a dietician.

Paterson says that physical activity is paramount to people today.

“All Canadians need to be more active. We are told to decrease the amount of time we are sedentary and increase to a minimum of 150 minutes a week of physical activity.”

People like those in Bonavista must make a concerted effort to improve their lifestyles. “In rural Newfoundland, we have two issues. We have a very high incidence of health related problems from being inactive. And we have difficulty accessing physical activity,” Paterson goes on to say.

“It’s a facility that everybody can use and it will help us get those 150 minutes a week we should be getting.”

This is a stepping stone for the Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation as they hope to develop a location on Coster St.

“Our big plan is to redevelop the Coster Street School…That’s going to include a gymnasium, fitness centre, community rooms, community kitchen and also an attached childcare centre,” says Paterson.

The Bonavista Seniors Resource Centre Peer Support Volunteers have 12 members. They own the two treadmills and one elliptical that are now open for the public to use. They were generously funded to the group.

The Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation Health Promotion subcommittee includes, Paterson, Hoddinott, Abbott, Randy Stead and Melanie Power.

The centre is currently actively encouraging volunteers to help out in the centre.

Organizations: Vista Wellness Foundation, Eastern Regional Wellness Coalition, Coster Street School Resource Centre

Geographic location: Bonavista, Cabot Stadium, Newfoundland

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