Since 2016, more than $150,000 has been granted to organizations in Hope and the Fraser Canyon through macro and micro health grants.
And there is more where that came from.
The grants are managed through the Hope and Area Healthy Communities Committee, through a partnership with Fraser Health. The goal is to improve the overall health and well being of Hope residents, and in ways that may not even seem obvious at first.
Catherine Wiebe, director of clinical operations at Fraser Canyon Hospital, is co-chair of the committee.
She says the initiative is an example of how health authorities, municipalities and community members can work together to identify priorities for community health, and develop and implement a plan of action.
Fraser Health began disbursing grants in 2016, with a goal of improving the health and well-being of people in Hope after a 2014 survey showed poor health indicators compared to the region. For example, Hope had a significantly higher rate of some chronic conditions, food insecurity and smoking than the Fraser Valley average.
The grants aim to help address those problems, and the deadline for applications is fast approaching. Even with the deadline of Oct. 18, they have not had an application for the macro grant this year.
The macro health grant is available once annually at up to $25,000. The grant is meant for a project that “aims for greater community impact,” including fostering partnerships. Wiebe says it’s an ideal grant to be used as leverage to generate opportunities that can continue over time, encourage expansions of activities and seek possible future funding opportunities.
That’s a critical kind of assistance for organizations in small towns, Wiebe says. Applications can include the cost of reports, architectural drawings and other large ticket items that could be a barrier where populations are small.
“Budgets are limited where the populations are small,” she says, which is a “challenge in a small community.”
The micro health grants are accepted on a quarterly basis, until the funding is spent. There is $50,000 available for one-time micro health grants of up to $10,000. To be eligible, the project must improve health and well-being, promote community inclusion and involvement, create greater awareness around health promotion and education, and improve and increase partnerships.
Past grants have gone to AdvantageHOPE, the RiverMonsters and even Brigade Days, which was able to offer free passes to several organizations in the community to attend the Brigade Days without financial hardship, and to increase the number of free activities at the annual event.
More information is available through Fraser Health, and all grant applications should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.