Member Statement November 5, 2018 – Bench Project Bridges the Generation Gap
Ms. Chartier: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Saskatoon Services for Seniors is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing supports that enable older adults and those with physical challenges to reside independently in their own homes for as long as possible. During the Fringe Festival this year, Saskatoon Services for Seniors along with a group of young people created the ElderWisdomYXE bench project to recognize the value that seniors have in our community. Modelled after similar projects in Ontario, it was a simple idea to have a park bench with the words “ElderWisdomYXE” on it to be an invitation to have a seat with a senior. It was an exciting opportunity to have conversations about and with Saskatoon’s older population and to help bridge the gap between youth and seniors. The bench hosted a diverse group of seniors in the community, ranging in age from 75 to 101, and along with special guests they all participated as bench ambassadors to share stories and wisdom that have been gained through age and experience. The bench was in place during the August long weekend and the following Saturday. Seniors often face isolation in their own communities, and by placing the bench at events that were more geared towards the younger crowd, this project benefited young people, seniors, and our community as a whole. Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all members join me in acknowledging this important public awareness project focused on raising awareness about seniors’ experiences and giving seniors the opportunity to share their wisdom. Thank you.