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Date: April 18, 2012

UVic Centre On Aging Values Senior Volunteers

UVic is helping to mark National Volunteer Week (April 15-21) by giving you a chance to nominate a senior volunteer for the University of Victoria Centre on Aging’s Valued Elder Recognition Award (VERA). Seniors who have been volunteering their time for at least 10 years in the Capital Region District are eligible for the VERA.

“Volunteers are a very important part of our community and to the research we conduct at the centre,” says Dr. Holly Tuokko, director of the Centre on Aging. “We are pleased to facilitate their well-deserved recognition.”

The award recognizes and honours individuals who have given exemplary service to helping others in the CRD. The VERA was an idea put forward by Doreen Burrows, the founding member of the Friends of the Centre on Aging, in 1998. The first VERA was awarded in 2000 to Bob Appleton, Helen Simpson and John Tomczak.

Nominations can be made by the public through a nomination form available on the centre’s website www.coag.uvic.ca or through volunteer agencies within the CRD. The VERA nomination form must be completed in full and nominators must also provide a letter of support from three people in the community. Nomination packages can be dropped off at, or mailed to, the Centre on Aging or faxed to 250-721-6499.

This year’s VERA will be awarded at an event on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, the United Nations International Day of Older Persons (IDOP). The IDOP event will include a keynote address by Dr. Laura Funk, University of Manitoba, on intergenerational family relationships and the presentation of the Valued Elder Recognition Award to this year’s recipients. Recipients are further acknowledged with a plaque at the Centre on Aging’s UVic office.

According to the 2010 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, the likelihood of volunteering tends to decrease with age, while the number of hours volunteered tends to increase. In 2007, seniors 65 years and older were least likely to volunteer (36.5 per cent), while young adults aged 15 to 24 were the most likely (58 per cent). Despite their lower rate of volunteering, seniors aged 65 or better gave more hours on average than any other age cohort, with an average of 223 hours annually compared to 15 to 24 year olds who volunteered an average of 230 hours annually. More info: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-649-x/89-649-x2011001-eng.pdf.

Media contacts:

Lois Edgar (Centre on Aging) at 250-721-6524 or ledgar@uvic.ca
Maria Lironi (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139 or lironim@uvic.ca

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