Working together to build a healthy community

Healthy Communities workshop to look at collaboration

  • Oct. 8, 2015 3:00 p.m.

Barbara Roden

Free Press

A Healthy Communities Workshop taking place in 100 Mile House on Oct. 15 aims to bring members from numerous local organizations together, in order to look at what it takes to do collaborative work at a community level today.

“Silos to Systems: Building Collaborative Capacity to Tackle Community Issues that Matter in the South Cariboo” is a free, all-day event presented by the South Cariboo Community Planning Council (SCCPC), Interior Health, and BC Healthy Communities.

It provides an opportunity for local groups to meet each other and find out what’s going on at different agencies, and explore the strengths and challenges they’re facing.

“Conditions have changed in recent years,” says SCCPC executive co-ordinator Lea Smirfitt.

“When the economy changes, the funding to agencies also change. When you have less funding, you stick tighter to your mandate, organizations have a more specific direction, and things that improve how we work together get less attention.”

When all resources are focused on providing a service, there are no resources to look at other groups and partners to make stronger initiatives, she says, adding collaboration with other groups takes time and extra energy, so collaborative practice takes a hit.

The workshop will assist groups to begin forming a framework for working together and aligning their efforts, so agencies with differing mandates, interests, resources, and time constraints can have more impact.

Smirfitt notes that people and groups change over time, and it’s important to review their needs.

It’s also important for organizations to ask if certain things are still working, and whether the goals of the community have changed over time, she adds.

“The strength of working collaboratively is that people’s issues are often very complex, and no one group can address all these challenges. Complex issues require support services to be equally complex; and all the pieces have to work together so things go smoothly.

“That’s why it’s important that we work together well in order to support others. And it’s nice for people to get the same message from everyone.”

The Healthy Communities Workshop is open to members of any group interested in collaborating around important community issues, including local government, First Nations, the school district, the Women’s Centre, Interior Health, and the SCCPC.

It takes place on Oct. 15 at the Community Employment Services in Horton Ventures’ Community Room at 808 Alpine Ave. (100 Mile House) from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is required.

For information, contact Debbra Williams at 250-395-5155, or


100 Mile House Free Press