On Wednesday, November 27, members of the community, City staff and representatives from the Province of Ontario gathered to officially open the Medway Seniors’ Satellite with a ribbon cutting and celebration.
This eighth Seniors’ Satellite at Medway Community Centre, 119 Sherwood Forest Square, is the first in the northwest area of London, which helps ensure affordable and accessible programs are available to all.
“Our Seniors’ Satellites offer so much to London’s senior community,” said Mayor Ed Holder. “The satellites are just one example of how our City is committed to creating age friendly environments that empower everyone to age well and have opportunities stay active and engaged.”
With over 550 members, the satellites prove to be a success throughout London, offering programs in the Argyle, Central, Westmount, Westminster, Pond Mills, North London, and now Medway, communities. They provide a place where those aged 55 and over can get fit, relax, meet new friends, have fun and volunteer, all within close proximity to their homes.
Londoner, Frances Durand, has enjoyed the line dancing classes at Medway since they started in October. She notes the Satellite’s drop-in style programming is perfect as a grandmother who may not be able to keep a consistent schedule as she looks after sick grandchildren, or travels.
“Thank you for the opportunity to remain active, to use our brains a little bit while we’re trying to figure out the line dancing steps,” said Durand. “[It’s a place] where you can meet your neighbours, which is wonderful finally having it in the northwest end of the city.”
Opening a new Seniors’ Satellite speaks to the success of the first seven satellite programs, mimicking the ‘core’ recreation and leisure activities at the Hamilton Road and Kiwanis Seniors’ Centre hubs.
“We’re so excited to already see such strong enthusiasm from those participating in our programming that started here last month,” said Paul D’Hollander, the Manager of Neighbourhood Operations for the City of London.
Medway programs are scheduled every Wednesday, from 12 – 3 p.m. City staff and volunteers manage and operate the satellites, and various community partners may offer supplementary programming or donate space.
Annual membership is $11.60, tax included, and each class usually costs $2.50. Classes at this new Satellite are free through March 2020, thanks to a Seniors Community Grant from the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport/Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility.
The opening of Medway Seniors’ Satellite supports the City’s strategic focus of strengthening our community by supporting the improvement of all Londoners’ health and well-being. The opening also aligns with the City’s commitment to being an age friendly city. In 2010, the City of London became the first city in Canada to join the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Network of Age Friendly Cities. Over 100 volunteer older adults, caregivers, service providers work collectively to improve the age friendliness of our community.
Visit www.london.ca/seniorsatellites for more information, and to view the program line-ups at all satellite locations.