Dixie Bloor Chronic Disease Prevention Project

Organization Sponsor: Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre

Organization Partner: Burnhamthorpe Community Centre

URLs: 

Program Description

The Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Center offers employment services and programs for newcomers and families. They recently initiated a chronic disease prevention project. Phase 1 involved organizing and facilitating a series of language specific community consultations. Phase 2 coordinated volunteers and staff to deliver activities that address chronic disease prevention.

The group information sessions featured topics like nutrition, chronic disease risk factors and prevention and importance of physical activity. Sessions were often held in immigrant neighborhoods and needed to be translated. Churches, community centers, low income housing units, and schools all were used as meeting places. An advisory board was formed to assist in the development of the project.

Free physical activity sessions were run for 8 weeks. Many themes were used based on the interests of the participants. Basic fitness classes, chair aerobics, stretch bands, tai chi, ethnic dance, Iranian dance, ballywood and salsa were extremely popular. VON Smart programs were also used.

The Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre's mission is to foster an atmosphere which will encourage our community as a whole to participate in and develop a positive, healthy and caring neighbourhood.

Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre was founded in 1988 by concerned members of the community to enhance the quality of life of those residing in the Dixie Bloor area. Programs offered are free of charge and responsive to the needs of the community.

Program Approximate Cost: 

Events are free to everyone

Funding Sources: 

Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion Healthy Community Fund.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

Dixie Bloor Neighborhood Center has a solid partner in the City of Mississauga. Many of the health professionals are able to step in and teach classes or deliver workshops if necessary. Most of the time, fitness or dance instructors are hired to deliver the classes. A peer leader model will be explored if funding decreases.

Impact Of Program: 

About 3,000 people were impacted by all aspects of the program including advertising at community events.

Evaluation Tools: 

Participant evaluations are done. Impact on communities will be assessed.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

All programs were free of charge and barriers for participation removed. Community partners were key to the success. Offering ethnic dance themes was very popular.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Developing the relationships in the community with the various seniors and ethnic groups was new work. Participants already attending classes and programs at the Dixie Bloor Center helped create the community outreach needed.

Length and Stage of Project: 

This program began in 2009.

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