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Wellness Fund grants announced in Eastern Zone

·2 min read

GUYSBOROUGH – “It’s the ripple effect throughout the community,” that makes the monies supplied through the Nova Scotia Health (NSH) Community Health Board (CHB) Wellness Fund so important, said Mary Desmond, chair of the Guysborough County CHB, April 10 during an interview with The Journal.

The NSH announced Wellness Fund recipients for the Eastern Zone in an April 7 press release.

“Grants from the CHB Wellness Fund are awarded annually to non-profit organizations across the province that are working to improve the health of their communities, based on priorities identified by CHBs. This year, a special emphasis was placed on projects that mitigated the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic … Project areas funded this year include food security, mental wellness, physical activity, youth programs and social supports.”

Desmond said that funds awarded through the Guysborough County CHB focus on the social determinants of health. One project that received funding that she found especially interesting was the ArtWorks Everywhere project by ArtWorks East.

“We (the CHB board) thought that was very interesting … I have been on the board for five years and we’ve never gotten anything from the arts community … this was unique; it fit a lot of our health promotion objectives,” she added.

The ArtWorks Everywhere project will use the Wellness Fund grant to hold art workshops in several locations across Guysborough County. The application checked off many of the grant criteria boxes; it’s locally based, aims to improve mental health and reduce social isolation.

The application process for Wellness Fund grants starts in September with the deadline for applications in mid-October, said Desmond. Once applications are received, a sub-committee of the CHB reviews applications against a checklist of board priorities and brings a list of suggested projects back to the board for approval.

Projects approved for Wellness Fund grant this year by the Guysborough County CHB are: ArtWorks Everywhere – ArtWorks East; Awesome Activities – Autism Nova Scotia; Winged Blossom Project – Canso Garden Club; Family Literacy/Children Books – Early Years Networking Committee; and Food Pantry – Mulgrave and Area Medical Centre.

Funded jointly through Antigonish and Guysborough CHBs is Make and Take – COVID-19 Style – Kids First Association – Antigonish/Guysborough/Pictou.

To learn more about the Wellness Fund program, visit www.communityhealthboards.ns.ca/wellness-funds or contact local CHB coordinator Dorothy Bennett, CHB coordinator for Antigonish, Guysborough and Strait area, at 902-867-4500, ext. 4272 or dorothy.bennett@nshealth.ca.

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal