Central Neighbourhoods Winnipeg creates well-being kits to entertain seniors 

By Nicole Brownlee

Central Neighbourhoods, a non-profit organization that coordinates neighbourhood revitalization, has been able to deliver well-being kits to adults 55 and older living in the Spence and Central Winnipeg neighbourhoods with the help of Downtown Senior Resource Finder.

The first set of packages were delivered on April 30th amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. They included donated personal hygiene supplies, craft kits from ArtsJunktion and positive mental health activities by Artbeat Studios. 

Central Neighbourhoods regularly receives donated items from Artbeat Studio, ArtsJunktion and Winnipeg Public Library branches including poetry CDs, books and craft supplies. The organization also accepts donations from community members. 

“We’re also helping disseminate information along with entertainment components,” said Chance Dupuis, Central Neighbourhood’s well-being coordinator. 

Dupuis, 30, acts as a liaison between the community and organizations to distribute resources.

Downtown Seniors Resource provides information about COVID-19 and helps seniors access available services like Seniors Resource Finder and how they can receive their benefits. 

“We include everything that pertains to seniors within our centralized neighbourhood in these kits,” said Dupuis.

The organization drops the wellness kits off curbside at no charge. Those interested in receiving a kit can sign up through email, phone or by texting Dupuis until July 24.

“It’s a really great way for agencies to come together,” said Dupuis about the partnership with groups like Artbeat Studio. ”I think more places should embark on [initiatives] like this.” 

Artbeat, a workspace dedicated to artists with mental illness, collected poems from their weekly poetry slam contributors to create the CD and a book called Words and Wellbeing, which guides readers through writing exercises to explore mental health during COVID-19.

“We’re trying to make [our contributions] engaging for all ages, so we can make these kits and send them out to other places as well,” said Uyen Pham, executive director at Artbeat.

The Winnipeg Foundation and Artist’s Emporium helped Artbeat create an additional 100 art kits with quality art supplies to donate to the community and Artbeat alumni through request.

Main Street Project received 50 art kits to entertain people self-isolating in their care. 

Pham said Artbeat hopes to create more kits to donate to Central Neighbourhoods, Main Street Project and throughout the community.

To find out more or donate, visit Central Neighbourhoods Winnipeg (@centralneighbourhoods), Artbeat Studio (@artbeatstudio), and ArtsJunktion (artsjunktion) on Facebook and Instagram.