Volunteer drivers needed for new ‘Tea and Talk’ program

Drivers are needed to transport seniors to a 'Tea and Talk' program offered by Linking Hands Dundas County.

A Linking Hands Dundas County initiative

MOUNTAIN—A recent grant has made it possible for Linking Hands Dundas County to provide transportation for seniors living in North and South Dundas to attend the initiative’s newest monthly event program: Tea and Talk.

Linking Hands was successful in its application for a United Church of Canada Foundation Seeds of Hope grant of $4,253.40. The money is earmarked for the creation of a transportation service based on volunteer drivers.

These drivers will be reimbursed for their mileage. Travel would take place within the confines of Dundas County with the expectation of no more than 60 kilometres per event.

To make this program work, drivers are needed who are willing to collect a senior from their home, wait (or join in) for the one-and-a-half-hour event, which includes refreshments, and then return the senior safely to his or her address. Among other requirements, volunteers will need a valid driver’s license with a minimum of $2 million insurance.

“Combatting issues of poverty is Linking Hands reason for being,” coordinator Sandy Casselman said. “Isolation is a common issue among many people living in rural Dundas County, and it’s a serious concern that often gets
overshadowed by the more immediate issues of food insecurity and homelessness. Isolation can have a significant negative impact on a person’s overall well-being.”

The next Tea and Talk event is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at The Gathering House in Chesterville. Guest speakers include Carefor’s elder abuse prevention coordinator Nancy Galway, as well as a
representative from the OPP. The topic will focus on recognizing scams targeting the senior population. Events for March through June are currently being solidified, but the topics and activities are to include: Lego for adults –
a discussion about Alzheimers, a learning session on how to stay connected in the digital age using such technology as Skype, dance and music for the chair-bound, and theatre/drama.

“We invite potential volunteer drivers to become part of this much needed endeavor,” Casselman said. “We hope to assemble a volunteer driver bank of at least five to 10 individuals and we need to hear from potential drivers
as soon as possible.”

For more information, phone 613-989-3830 or email at scasselman@houseoflazarus.com. Information can also be found on our website (linkinghandsdundas.ca) or by following us on Facebook (Linking Hands Dundas County).

About Linking Hands

Linking Hands is a non-profit initiative dedicated to reducing poverty in Dundas County. It is directed by a community-led steering committee with sub-committees called working groups that focus on a variety of projects
from the Green Food Box, Garden Guides, Lunch and Learn, Tea and Talk, and more.