June 2013 - It’s opening day of the new patio area off Unit 5 at Youville Home. This is the first time residents have had access to the space. The anticipation is high.
“Look at the pretty flowers. It is really lovely,” says resident Eva Bellwood who loves the outdoors. Before moving to Youville she always had a big garden on her property in Fort Saskatchewan.
The patio project was funded through the annual Youville Home Golf Classic ($75,000) and Covenant Foundation ($125,000). The space is landscaped so wheelchairs can easily move around and it is secure so all the residents can enjoy it.
Eighty-five residents, plus a number of family members and staff came out for the celebration.
To see the space finally in use is a real sense of pride for Craig Pritchard, Youville Home’s Maintenance Coordinator. He led the project.
“Getting the patio open wasn’t easy; there were a few delays along the way. The first year it rained so much we weren’t able to do anything.” In the end, the challenges were worth it, says Craig. “I have never seen so many smiling faces. “
Cecilia Marion, Youville Home’s Executive Director recognizes it takes staff dedication, community involvement, and families to make projects like this happen. An example of the spirit of the Youville Home community is sisters Jean Brennis and Nora Rouault.
“These sisters are amazing. I saw them earlier in the afternoon bustling about with a cart and an empty flat for flowers. They took it upon themselves to do some weeding and extra planting to make sure the patio was perfect for its debut,” says Cecilia. “This isn’t the first time they have done this sort of thing. They say this is their Mother’s home and they would do the same thing if she lived on her own.”
When the patio party started to wind down and most of the residents headed inside, Jack Johnson gave his endorsement of the patio by opting to stay out a little longer.
“I would rather be out here. If I could sit out here, I would be quite happy,” says Jack.
The event was held on June 6, 2013.