When Kyle Fraser joined the Seniors Active Living Centre (SALC) as the new program assistant, many of the members recognized him from the nearby Metro where he worked growing up in McNab-Braeside.
“Because I’m local, there are definitely a lot of familiar faces at the SALC which is nice,” said Kyle.
Before he started at the SALC in January 2021, Kyle worked at Renfrew County Housing where he was responsible for the rental allowance program and emergency minor home repair program which help vulnerable populations in the County.
Giving back to his community
When Kyle was studying communications at Carleton University, he lived in Ottawa for four years and knew he wanted to come back to the Arnprior area.
Joining the SALC has given Kyle the chance to not only live in his hometown but also do meaningful work in the community.
“I really like that I get to do work within the community and support our local seniors – it’s a way to give back.”
A typical day at the SALC for Kyle involves welcoming members, setting up for the programming (and even participating in some), working on outreach and member communications, and supporting the Men’s Shed with their product marketing and sales.
The COVID impact and beyond
After the recent COVID-19 lockdown lifted in February, the SALC shifted from its temporary online programming to reintroduce a variety of in-person programming, including yoga, cards, carpet bowling, ukulele, the walking club and more. Throughout the pandemic, the SALC has made the necessary adjustments such as additional spaces, screening, and reduced capacity to ensure members could participate and engage safely.
“Since we opened back up, it’s been amazing to see the members come in so happy to be out of house doing something and having the social interaction that they had been missing,” said Kyle. “For many members, coming to the SALC is their outing of the week. They’ll often come for a program and do their grocery shopping afterwards.”
When the pandemic is in the rear-view mirror, the SALC plans to bring back the beloved bus trips. In the meantime, the members are looking forward to the community gardens starting back up again and the potential opportunity for some local music in the park.
“The seniors at the SALC have a lot of energy and are really engaged in the programming,” reflected Kyle. “It a vibrant community.”