News of Interest for Members

The GWSA Board of Directors has been actively working towards a full resumption of services as the Province reopens. It has been a long road, and we are thrilled to get back to normal and involved with friends. We are working daily with the City of Guelph and are happy that room capacities are back to normal, social distancing has relaxed and our programs can have full participation. Please note that requirements for Proof of Vaccination and wearing masks when not engaged in ‘active’ programs or when dining remain. We will keep everyone updated and appreciate your patience.

Over the last 18 months, the GWSA Board has continued to meet and plan for the future. Our Strategic Planning has considered Accessibility and Inclusion, Long-term Sustainability, Expansion of Programming throughout the City and the County of Wellington and thoughtful planning about the leadership of our wonderful Community Support Services (CSS) team.

With these in mind, we do have some positive news to share. The opportunity for the GWSA to move towards an Executive Director led model has presented itself. The idea has been expressed many times over our history, and the current Board of Directors has unanimously voted in favour of this meaningful and future thinking decision. The responsibilities associated with GWSA stewardship can be onerous and recent influences like COVID-19 have further illuminated the need for Board and membership directed professional leadership.

The transition better positions the GWSA for future funding opportunities, increased connection with community, an expansion of programming options and greater advocacy for the needs of older adults in Guelph and Wellington. That means that the Executive Director will be working for you at the Evergreen and across our community, to improve opportunities, supports and resources for all seniors. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board and committees to implement member priorities, and will report to the Board of Directors to ensure that we remain focused on those we serve.

This transition is made possible by incorporating the role of our vacant CSS Manager into the Executive Director’s portfolio, continuing with responsible investing, and using grant funding as we do every year to employ our small staff.  Moving forward, we expect the new position to identify additional funding opportunities. The Board is eagerly undertaking the job search and will keep members informed through the progress.

In other news, the Board agreed to increase membership fees which incredibly have remained the same for over 15 years. Your extra $ 0.20 per week will be recommitted to additional programming, asset replacement and maintenance, and other GWSA needs as they arise. The change, effective in January, improves our alignment with similar organizations and is a fiscally responsible decision. Please note that we will always work with members to support access to the GWSA, regardless of financial means.

We hope you have friends who might like to join us. Now that the restaurant has reopened, it is a perfect time for people to come by for a hot lunch and a tour. Thank you for working through recent challenges with us, for your trust in your Board of Directors and for continuing on as the reason why the GWSA exists.

We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Sincerely,

GWSA Board of Directors