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GWSA Email Update for the Month of February 2021


Strategic Plan Input Survey

The GWSA Board of Directors is seeking your input on our strategic planning efforts over the last several months. Strategic planning offers a number of benefits to any organization and the GWSA is no exception. A well-crafted strategic plan creates a focused vision or direction for an organization. It serves as the lodestar for board and staff decisions and is an effective communication tool for members and funding agencies alike. Over time, the GWSA has engaged in the strategic planning process but the most recent plan only carried us through 2015. Our organization has been overdue for another round of conversations about the direction of the GWSA and the coronavirus pandemic highlighted some of our most critical needs.

Over the last several months the Board of Directors, with input from staff and City partners, has engaged in extensive discussions about our desired direction. We’ve identified three strategic priorities and are seeking member input. They are:

 Our organization                    

Sustainable and viable organizational structure and resources (human, physical, technical, and financial) needed to support the future needs of the organization.

 Our members and services   

Transformation and growth are needed in GWSA services to address changing need and growing population in both Guelph and Wellington.

Our voices                              

Communication needs to be widespread and available in a variety of formats to members and the community.

We’ve posted a survey on the GWSA website and ask that you let us know whether you agree or disagree with the priorities we’ve chosen. For each strategic priority, our survey provides an opportunity for additional comments from you. In the coming months, we will review your input and revise our plan before setting operational goals to implement the vision all of us have for the GWSA.

You can read the draft plan here:  Strategic Plan Draft


All the Latest News

Please be sure to visit the GWSA website often to stay up with the most current news and events. All announcements – and the latest Sentinel Newsletter – are always available on the main page: Following are some highlights of recent news:

Black Heritage Month in Guelph


The Guelph Black Heritage Society has collaborated with the University of Guelph's Cultural Diversity Office and the Guelph Black Student's Association in offering virtual educational programming on Black heritage and culture under its #ChangeStartsNow initiative.  They will be providing resources on diversity, discrimination and anti-racism.  For more information check out ChangeStartsNow

Virtual Activities for Francophone Seniors

Retraite en Action
In partnership with Montfort Renaissance, Retraite en Action has received a grant from the Ontario Ministry for Seniors to provide free virtual activities to francophone seniors in the province in order to break down the isolation.

This free activity program for Ontario seniors is currently available to the public until March 31, 2021 on their website:
Program Schedule
Activities Calendar

Guelph Enabling Garden

The Guelph Enabling Garden, in collaboration with The New Horizons Grant, is delivering a series of 3 free online programs this winter season. Programs will be run between February 16th and March 5th on Zoom. Participants will be provided with materials and afterwards surveyed to assess the therapeutic value of online horticultural activities. For questions or registration, contact Guinevere.


Energy Affordability Program

The Energy Affordability Program (EAP) is a free program delivered on behalf of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), a government regulator. The program brings real support to individuals and families in our underserved communities and brings a positive impact on our environment. The measures can lower utility bills and create a more comfortable home environment.

If you currently receive government benefits such as Ontario Works, ODSP, OESP, LEAP, Allowance for the Senior, and more, or if you are income-eligible, you will automatically qualify for the Comprehensive Support Tier 1 of the EAP. If you do not qualify for Tier 1 of the program, you may be eligible for Tier 2 of the program (based on your income) and receive an Energy Savings Kit.

For more information, you can download the Program Brochure here and the Eligibility Sheet here

Connecting Circles

10C Connecting Circles are safe, free opportunities for older adults and seniors in Guelph and Wellington County to virtually connect with people in their community.

You can join us as often as you wish! 10C will be hosting Connecting Circles every week at the same times, using Zoom:

  • Mondays 7:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Wednesdays 11:30am - 12:30pm
  • Thursdays 1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Fridays 7:00pm – 8:00pm

New workshops are added each week! Check this link for the latest updates:

Connecting Circles


One way to learn about a place is to doodle it.  Newcomer Ellen Piazza has been working hEllen Piazzaer way around her new home city doodling various locations in her quest to get to know Guelph.  Encouraged by others, she began posting her work on her Instagram page at Ellen's Instagram.  Check it out.

February Sentinel is Available Now

Read online or download your own copy: February

The Sentinel February 2021



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