Each year the City of Airdrie releases a report outlining the work done by the various social agencies within the city that receive funding through the provincial Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) grant. According to Jessie Bryant, social planner, research and evaluation for the City, the report is an important way to “show the good work of our non-profit agencies.”
“(The report’s) purpose is to highlight the social initiatives that the City has undertaken in partnership with organizations and individuals in the community,” she said. “Essentially, the report is to celebrate the successes of our social initiatives and highlight the community partnerships that we have. It’s to enjoy and learn about the community initiatives that we have and to read about the positive change that our programming shows in the past.”
In 2016, seven agencies received FCSS funding for 13 programs totaling more than $1.3 million. Included on that list are the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie, the Airdrie Food Bank and North Rocky View Community Links. The report states 3,244 volunteers provided 47,987 volunteer hours valued at $1.16 million.
Bryant said the City was pleased to see some very positive results coming out of the FCSS-funded programs.
“In a senior support program, participants reported a 23 per cent increase in how often they felt there were people they could turn to in the community,” she said. “We also had a child and youth program where participants reported a 19 per cent increase in feeling they can make friends with people who are different from them. So, these positive outcomes are really showing the good change that our non-profit agencies are doing.”
Aside from FCSS-funded programs, the report also highlights other social programs, which the City contributed to in 2016, including the Airdrie Participant Support Program, the Airdrie Board of Youth Affairs and events receiving funding from the Community Investment Funds, such as the Airdrie Festival of Lights and the Airdrie Food Bank’s Empty Bowls Festival.
The Airdrie Volunteer of the Year awards and community events such as the annual Canada Day and Santa Claus parades are also highlighted in the report.
“There are a lot of high quality programs out there for community members and there’s a lot of active engagement in the community from the volunteers and the non-profit agencies and the numbers that turn out for our events,” Bryant said, “We had over 20,000 spectators, for example, at the Canada Day parade.”
The full report can be found on the City of Airdrie’s website at airdrie.ca