Small Ideas: $10,000

Description

If you have ever moved to a new community, city, province or country you most likely have experienced feelings of anxiety, loneliness, isolation, confusion and uncertainty. In fact, moving is one of the top stressors in life along with death, divorce, illness and job loss. Drumheller is a hub for senior’s retiring from surrounding rural farms, people immigrating from other countries and families moving to our community for employment.

Welcoming newcomers to our community was identified as one of the top issues based on results from a Social Needs Assessment that was conducted in 2017. ‘New Residents’ were asked if there was any support needed or that would have been helpful but was not available. A” Welcoming Committee” was identified by 30.39% of the respondents and a “Guide to Local Services and Amenities” by 32.35%. When social wellbeing was looked at 29.6% of survey respondents did not have family in the area that they could turn to for support, and 29.3% did not know other people in the community that they could ask for help from. Clearly this is an issue that needs to be addressed in our community and we are excited to share our idea for a solution, which will be possible to implement upon receiving a $10,0000 prize from the Aviva Community Fund Competition.

Our idea is to create a Welcoming Program to promote a warm, friendly, inclusive introduction to our community for all newcomers. We will develop “Welcome Packages”, which will include helpful resources such as: the Drumheller Activity Guide, list of community services/programs, volunteer opportunities, current events, community Block Buddy contacts, a 72 Hour Emergency Kit List etc. In addition, Welcome Bags (reusable shopping bags) will be given out to newcomers and will contain items such as: map of Drumheller, calendar, magnets; coupons, promotional items, fun gifts/samples etc.

Newcomers will also be matched with a Block Buddy volunteer who resides in their particular community. The Block Buddy will connect with the new residents to help make them feel welcome, provide support and information about our town. Research indicates that knowing your neighbours has many positive benefits such as: emotional support, practical help, information sharing, learning opportunities, increased sense of well-being/ belonging, neighbourhood safety etc. Block Parties will be hosted to foster a “sense of belonging” and to integrate long-term residents with newcomers.

A final part of the Welcome Program will be providing our newcomers with a Drumheller “Ambassador Passport”. The passport will include free entries or discounts to local tourist attractions and businesses in Drumheller. One purpose of the passport is to provide Newcomers with the opportunity to learn about our community, and another function is to begin establishing a pool of knowledgeable Drumhellerites to serve as tourism ambassadors. As a tourist destination, we need to acknowledge that visitor’s experiences are shaped by the people whom they meet. It makes sense for our newcomers to participate as an Ambassador because they will have invested time learning about Drumheller and know firsthand what it is like to feel welcome in a new community.

Once the newcomers have visited all the locations on their passport, they will have the confidence to assist visitors and future newcomers with suggestions about where to spend their time and money in Drumheller. The Ambassador role will help newcomers to feel more connected, foster a sense of pride about living here and will benefit the community as a “Tourist Friendly” place to visit.

It is our hope that our newcomers will feel welcomed and included by our proposed Welcome Program, and in the future, they will become the next volunteer Block Buddies who will connect with new residents in our beautiful community. So here is your chance to help make Drumheller a warmer, friendlier place for newcomers and visitors to "ROAR" about!


Broker supported
MAINLINE INSURANCE BROKERS INC.

Town of Drumheller

Location: Drumheller