Monday, August 20, 2012

Prevention & partnerships key to community success

One hundred and seventy-two kids are enjoying the final weeks of summer riding their bicycles with the protection of a helmet thanks to the efforts of The City of Calgary’s Community and Neighbourhood Services (CNS), the Calgary EMS Foundation and Canadian Tire.

Earlier this summer, Community & Neighbourhood Services was approached by the Calgary EMS Foundation to assist with an important safety initiative. The Foundation had arranged to purchase the helmets at cost from Canadian Tire, and needed to find a way to distribute the helmets to kids who may not otherwise have one.

CNS staff from the Calgary AfterSchool team determined the best way to get the helmets dispersed was through The City’s Park n’Play programs which are held during the summer in multiple communities throughout the city. With help from coworkers in the area offices, the choice of communities was narrowed to four: Greenview, Dalhousie, McKenzie Lake and Applewood.

“I’m told the parents were very thankful, and completely bowled over that their kids received a free helmet,” said Zorian Klymochko, a community development worker with CNS’ Children and Youth Services division.

In 2011, CNS provided summer programming for 25,783 children. CNS strengthens individuals and communities by working strategically and with partners to address social and recreational needs. Partnerships with other community organizations, such as the EMS Foundation and its Bicycle Helmet Program, are critical to CNS’ ability to address the unique needs of Calgary communities.

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