Lambton Elderly Outreach carrying on Age-Friendly initiative

Age-Friendly Sarnia-Lambton and initiative coordinator Amy Weiler have moved to Lambton Elderly Outreach from the City of Sarnia. Weiler is pictured at St. Michael school in Bright's Grove last November, announcing grant money for a Safe Routes to School program in Sarnia. Tyler Kula/Sarnia Observer/Postmedia Network Tyler Kula / Tyler Kula/The Observer

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An initiative to make Sarnia a more livable place for people of all ages has moved out of city hall.

Lambton Elderly Outreach took over as the parent organization for Age-Friendly Sarnia-Lambton on May 25 after provincial grant money to employ program co-ordinator Amy Weiler at the city ran out.

“We were able to bring Amy on with no loss of time for her,” said Bill Yurchuck, CEO of the not-for-profit that provides transportation, meal delivery, and social and housing assistance, among other services, to people age 60 and older and adults with disabilities.

Weiler’s job at Lambton Elderly Outreach includes working in the agency’s housing support program while also carrying on with age-friendly work, Yurchuk said.

The initiative that’s been behind age-friendly summits, way-finding signs in downtown Sarnia and a snow-shovelling Adopt-a-Driveway program, has long partnered with Lambton Elderly Outreach, Lambton public health and other organizations, Yurchuk said.

“We also had the blessing from the City of Sarnia that Amy and we could continue with Age-Friendly” and maintain the city’s age-friendly community designation via the World Health Organization, he said.

The plan is to expand its reach and programs to other communities in Lambton County, he said, noting that was the intent even before the transition last month.

“What we feel is having (Age-Friendly Sarnia-Lambton) housed out of (Lambton Elderly Outreach), which is a county organization, the communities would probably be more receptive to that, as opposed to it being led by the city,” he said.

“We’re excited for that potential.”

Weiler said she’s planning a meeting with municipal officials in Petrolia and elsewhere in the fall to talk about rolling out the program in those communities

“I’m going to meet them and possibly work on some collaboration, and see what’s been established and where supports are needed,” she said.

“That’s how I plan to start it.”

Lambton Elderly Outreach is a great fit for the work of Age-Friendly Sarnia-Lambton’s – and its dozens of volunteers – to continue, she said.

“The way Age-Friendly (Sarnia) started was through a government grant, and when the government gives communities this money to make improvements there’s always a question of sustainability and keeping it around,” she said. “With the move to (Lambton Elderly Outreach), we’re now sustainable.”

A followup to last year’s Age-Friendly Sarnia Expo that was planned for June 3 was cancelled this year amid COVID-19, but hopes are it returns in 2021, she said.

“Instead of having the expo, I did some features on Facebook of different organizations and how they’re really stepped up during the pandemic or throughout the year to help seniors,” she said.

“We still wanted to get the information out to the community.”

Age-Friendly also has an interactive web portal at to help people find various community services.