Youth help seniors stay safe in winter

Austin Trohan of Red Deer has been shovelling snow for seniors for the last two years.

Austin Trohan of Red Deer has been shovelling snow for seniors for the last two years.

The energetic 16 year-old said it’s about “doing good deeds for others” and is also an opportunity to save some cash for a car of his own one day.

“When I get to be that age, I hope there’s someone around to shovel my drive,” said the Hunting Hills High School student.

Trohan heard about the Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre’s YES (Youth Enabling seniors) program, which bolsters snow removal services for seniors, through his mother, Christina.

Last year he had seven clients. This year he has 11 and is expecting a few more as winter kicks into high gear.

“November has been a good month. . . I have a few hundred saved up. I call them up even if there’s only a couple inches that’s fallen, because it can freeze over and be icy.

“They all really appreciate it . . . I spent a couple hours chipping away at the ice on one driveway and the couple were really impressed and happy with the job.”

The YES program, now in its second year, helps ensure Red Deer seniors who want and need help clearing their walkways and driveways get just that.

The Golden Circle has been able to stay on top of snow removal for seniors through adult volunteers and the YES program but executive director Monica Morrison said they could always use more hands.

“We’re continuously recruiting snow shovellers,” Morrison said. “It’s always a challenge finding people; it’s supply and demand.”

So far all 220 seniors on the list have been matched through the Golden Circle with a snow shoveller.

“But when people start hearing about snow storms coming, the phones start ringing again.

“That happened during the last snowstorm and the people stepped up and made themselves available,” Morrison said.

YES took over from the previous Snow Angels program, which was in partnership with the city and encouraged citizens to keep sidewalks ice and snow free for seniors.

Morrison said Snow Angels “just wasn’t working.”

With YES, the youth can choose to either volunteer their time or opt to be paid by the clients for $15 an hour.

“It’s not all volunteer based.

“In fact, it’s minimal volunteer. It’s more about having an opportunity to make some money while doing good for the community at the same time. We do also provide subsidies for snow shovelling for those clients who are eligible.”

This year, Red Deer College students have also been recruited into the YES program, Morrison noted, taking off some pressure.

“It’s also creating opportunities for employment agencies and people with special needs. We’ve been able to hook up with some local high schools and their special needs classes. People can be independent, provide a service to the community and make some money.

“It’s a win-win situation all around.”

For Trohan, it’s a great part-time job but he said he couldn’t do half of the work if it wasn’t for his father, Corey, who drives with him to the clients’ houses and helps out shovelling here and there.

“We do it together and have fun. It’s about helping others out and a great way to instill the value of hard work in him,” Corey said. “We want the seniors in our community to be safe, too. Ice and heavy, uneven snow piled up can lead to slipping and broken bones.”

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

"They’re angry. They’re frustrated,” Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling says of his members, whose pension assets have been transferred to a provincial Crown corporation. (Photo contributed)
Only 17% of Albertans support draft curriculum: teachers’ association

Fewer than one-in-five Albertans support the provincial government’s draft K-6 curriculum, says… Continue reading

(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe man to apply to withdraw manslaughter guilty plea

Tyler John Campbell wants to change plea after judge rejected seven-year sentence

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being prepared at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the University of Toronto campus in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Canada to get two million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses as provinces expand rollouts

OTTAWA — Canada is scheduled to receive two million doses of the… Continue reading

Members of the Sipekne'katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
U.N. committee to consider racism complaint of N.S. Mi’kmaq fishers against Ottawa

HALIFAX — A United Nations committee on racial discrimination is asking the… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Canada's chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Tam warns that full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Canada’s chief public health officer reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those… Continue reading

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh listens to a question as he speaks with reporters on Parliament Hill, Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Ottawa. Singh says he believes there's a connection between anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests and far-right extremism. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Jagmeet Singh says link exists between anti-maskers and far-right extremism

OTTAWA — Federal New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh is the latest… Continue reading

Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Iqaluit elders home evacuated after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

IQALUIT, Nunavut — An elders home in Iqaluit was evacuated on the… Continue reading

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Boost in near-term funds, risk should lure more social-finance investors, Hussen says

OTTAWA — Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen says he expects changes to… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday May 7, 2021. Canada's justice and heritage ministers will be recalled to justify a change to the Broadcasting Act that critics warn could erode the rights of individuals users who upload content to social media. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Heritage committee to seek answers from ministers on C-10 changes

OTTAWA — Canada’s justice and heritage ministers will be recalled to justify… Continue reading

Young people line up for COVID-19 vaccines at Downsview Arena in Toronto on Monday, May 10, 2021. Ontario has just opened up vaccines for 18+ in high risk areas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Vaccine rollouts expand, but COVID-19 caseloads still high in some provinces

There were signs of hope that Ontario and Quebec are making progress… Continue reading

Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after providing doses to customers at the Junction Chemist in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2021. Ontario will likely mix and match COVID-19 vaccine doses in light of uncertain future supply of all the shots approved for use in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Ontario likely to mix 1st and 2nd vaccine doses amid lack of AstraZeneca supply

TORONTO — Ontario will likely mix and match COVID-19 vaccine doses in… Continue reading

Opinion piece
Opinion: O’Toole’s carbon taxes would come with big costs for families

Erin O’Toole’s proposed carbon taxes would cost you more to heat your… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007 .A flurry of stock sale financings by oil and gas producers in Canada has sparked optimism among investors that the stalled drilling industry will soon go back to work. But analysts warn that’s not likely to happen this year, THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Ensign Energy Services reports $43.6M Q1 loss, revenue down 43 per cent from year ago

CALGARY — Ensign Energy Services Inc. reported a loss attributable to common… Continue reading

Most Read