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Help take the pulse of the Shuswap

Take the survey: Agriculture and the environment are elements which will be considered in the Vital Signs Report. - James Murray/Observer
Take the survey: Agriculture and the environment are elements which will be considered in the Vital Signs Report.
— image credit: James Murray/Observer

Beautiful scenery, temperate climate, sweet Shuswap home.

What else is there to celebrate?

What could be better? What is missing?

The Shuswap Community Foundation is seeking public input for a Vital Signs Report.

The foundation has gathered information from various sources including community businesses in the Shuswap and government statistical reports.

Residents are now invited to grade the area on such key issues as the environment, the gap between rich and poor, ease of mobility and more in a short survey available online at www.shuswapfoundation.ca.

“The survey is meant to be the opinions of the general public as to how we’re doing on various issues in this community,” says foundation vice-president Karen Angove, who notes residents of Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Electoral areas C South Shuswap, D Silver Creek/Ranchero, E Rural Sicamous and F North Shuswap are encouraged to have their say.

She calls the survey a starting point, a way to discover what problems exist in the Shuswap and how the foundation might be able to fund projects related to areas in need.

Angove says the process has been a real (and not always pleasant) eye-opener.

“A lot of issues are hidden – homelessness with young people, not necessarily on the street because they’re couch surfing,” she says. “We had a community meeting with the safe house and they told us that spousal abuse, elder abuse and child abuse are up, and that rapes increase in the summer.”

Angove maintains a community that is aware of its strengths and weaknesses can become a stronger, healthier place.

Three questions to keep in mind as you respond to the survey are:

1. When you picture a healthy, connected community, what stands out?

2. What is our community doing well? What is working? What do you love about our community?

3. Where are the opportunities for improvement?

Not only is the survey expected to yield detailed statistical data, the subsequent report will provide a subjective sense of the Shuswap’s vitality as it relates to 10 key issue areas.

This is not a test of knowledge, only a way for the foundation to measure people’s opinions and perceptions and see how they line up with scientific data.

Residents are asked to complete the survey by June 30.

To learn more contact the Shuswap Community Foundation office at 250-832-5428 or email info@shuswapfoundation.ca.

 

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