United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) has
granted $120,000 through the federal COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund to local
charitable organizations helping seniors impacted by the pandemic.

To support vulnerable seniors affected by COVID-19, UWCNVI has funded 25 local
organizations from the Malahat to Port Hardy through grants of up to $5000. The
COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund is funded by the Government of Canada’s New
Horizons for Seniors Program.

“We know our local charities are working overtime to help seniors who need access to
food, social connection and other supports,” said Signy Madden, Executive Director,
United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island. “Knowing what agencies are effective
and what the needs are on the ground in our Vancouver Island communities has
allowed United Way to channel this much needed federal funding quickly to where it is
needed most.”

“The partnership offered by United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island’s COVID19 Seniors Response Grant has given us the opportunity to make a significant impact
on both the physical and mental health of some of our most vulnerable seniors,” said
Kris Huddlestan, Vice Chair, Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society in Port Hardy. “We
know the meals are appreciated but our seniors are all missing the activities, meals, and
visits with friends they are used to. Just knowing that they are remembered means so

While physical distancing is essential to protecting seniors from COVID-19, it risks
isolating them from their community. That is why the Government of Canada is proud to
work with United Way Canada to help support the needs of seniors during this difficult
time,” said the Honorable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors. “By using local expertise,
this funding will help provide support tailored to the unique, local needs of seniors
across the country. As we work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the
virus, the government is supporting Canadians every step of the way.”

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) provides grants and contributions for
projects that help improve the well-being of seniors and foster their social inclusion. To
provide immediate essential services to seniors impacted by COVID-19, the
Government of Canada is providing $9 million under the NHSP to be distributed through
United Way Canada network. These funds will help organizations providing support to
seniors dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

This pandemic response funding is one aspect of helping vulnerable people across the
region cope with the impacts of COVID-19. To continue support those in need, UWCNVI
is actively inviting prospective donors to contribute to the Local Love in a Global Crisis
campaign, which helps local people with basic needs. Learn more and donate at

Nicole Benson,

Director of Communications , United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island