Betty Jenner is 93 and likes to keep active and connected.
The resident of St. Andrew’s Residence in Chatham is among those who have benefited from wireless technology – iPads and laptops – to enjoy virtual exercise classes, bingo and card games during COVID-19 restrictions.
“I look at it every day,” said Jenner.
The senior has been using iPads for about eight years and enjoys the technology.
“It’s wonderful, and I wonder where it’s going to go,” she said.
St. Andrew’s Residence has purchased the devices, along with new software, thanks to a $137,700 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund.
The organization’s 12-month grant project was completed in February and helps ensure that St. Andrew’s Residence can provide enhanced care and services to its residents, staff and volunteers for years to come.
The software will improve the way St. Andrew’s undertakes fundraising and stays connected with volunteers.
“Being able to focus on developing the fundraising capacity of the organization, assisting board members to gain new skills and approaches to fund development and create a solid framework to build on, is imperative for the future and has been made possible as a result of the incredible support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Lynn McGeachy, executive director of the St. Andrew’s Residence Foundation.
She said new technology will allow St. Andrew’s to do a better job of telling its story to people in a more personal way.
“We know that families that have been involved with St. Andrew’s like to become volunteers, and we’re very lucky about that, so this will let us keep much better track than we’ve been able to do,” McGeachy said.
Jessica Smith, the executive director of St. Andrew’s Residence, said the technology made available through the grant will allow administrators to “focus” on the facility’s “long-term viability,” which had become a struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This funding allows St. Andrew’s Residence to continue the great support they provide to their residents,” Chatham-Kent–Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls added in a release. “It is wonderful when organizations apply for the grants that become available and use them to their potential.”
McGeachy said it has been several years since St. Andrew’s Residence applied for Trillium funding.
“This is a big deal for us,” she said.