Colleen Tackaberry hopes to make the benefits of a week-long campaign felt year-round.
The Transcona Council for Seniors (TCS) resource co-ordinator likes the thought behind the upcoming Let No One Be Alone week, slated for May 5 through 11. The campaign, which is in its second year, seeks to raise awareness of social isolation and promote social cohesion.
"We’re just one of the many," said Tackaberry. "All of the councils will be encouraged to do something."
The TCS is participating by offering a special two-for-one deal for its seniors’ lunch on May 10 at noon. The meal will be held at Transcona Memorial United Church at 209 Yale Ave. W.
The council holds the lunch every Friday at noon for a cost of $5. Attendees are welcome to attend an exercise class at 10:30 a.m. held in conjunction with the meal.
"It’s like a whole morning out," said Tackaberry.
It also holds evening meals, also at Transcona Memorial, on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. Tackaberry estimates approximately 30 people attend each meal.
"This year, I thought I’ll pair it with something that’s already in existence so it’s not a one-off," said Tackaberry of the special May 10 meal. "If people will come and they will bring someone to the meal, then they can come back. I like to build things that are sustainable.
"Lots of people just need that hand to take them through the door."
One longtime member appreciates the opportunity to come out and share a meal with others. Delsie Cousineau initially began attending the exercise classes over a decade ago, and now attends the meals, even offering to help at the door.
"(The social aspect) is very important," she said. "Not only you don’t have to cook, but you have people to eat with."
Transcona resident Lawrence Webb said he has made a couple new friends through attending the meals, and also appreciates the handiwork of cook Louise Page.
"She does a great job of cooking," he said.
Reservations are required by 8 a.m. the day of the meal and can be secured by calling 204-222-5947.
The council also offers activities like tai chi, line dancing, Scottish country dancing, Zumba, art, and chair exercises, as well as free seniors’ get-togethers for people with addictions and depression.
"They don’t necessarily always talk about addictions – they talk about getting out and doing things," she said. "’What can we do besides gambling? Well, we can go fishing (for example).’"
For more information, visit http://seniors.cimnet.ca/cim/19C45_51T1940T50T1930.dhtm or call 204-222-9879.