Golden Circle ‘working hard’ amid COVID-19 pandemic

Pandemic has been a ‘different time’ for centre

The Golden Circle has been “working hard” during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the senior resource centre’s executive director.

“It is a different time for us, but we want to make sure that our community is OK,” Monica Morrison said Thursday.

“Being isolated and not being able to come down to the Golden Circle has been very hard on some people. Some feedback that we have received is that they really miss being with their friends (and) meeting friends for lunch or breakfast.

“COVID-19 has really shown us how important the Golden Circle is to people and they miss it.”

The centre has already cooked, packed and delivered about 3,300 frozen meals to seniors in central Alberta. Volunteers have also been delivering groceries to seniors on Fridays, in partnership with the Timberlands Co-op.

Some volunteers are still taking people to important medical appointments. The centre has also started a telephone-friendly visiting program.

Staff still working in the office are answering phones, setting up Zoom meetings with management, answering questions, scheduling volunteers and calling members to see how they are doing.

In the meantime, the Golden Circle is exploring the idea of hosting virtual programs, including physical activity sessions, guitar lessons and discussion groups.

“It is not the same as face-to-face (interactions) at the Circle, but you can still see your friends and have a laugh or two,” she said.

“COVID-19 is a challenge because it effects the way we can do business and because we are a place for people. Not being able to serve people face-to-face concerns us, but we are doing our best to get people connected.”

Morrison said the Golden Circle will keep people informed as to when the relaunch process for the centre can begin.

“There are many wheels in that process,” she said.

“(First), we are in a city building. Second, is what is happening in our city regarding COVID-19 cases. Third, is how is Stage 1 and 2 are doing in regards to the number of cases.

“And then when we hit Stage 3, (determining whether) there will be restrictions on the number of people who can gather. We are all in uncertain times, but we will make it to the other side.”

Morrison said she wanted to thank volunteers and “continuous support” from Family and Community Support Services, Central Alberta United Way and Ineos.

The Golden Circle can be contacted at 403-343-6074.

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