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2225 New Street, Burlington, ON

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Why a Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends (CoF) was implemented in response to a great need in our community, that of improving the well-being and safety of socially-isolated older adults. This need is growing.  This is the third year that Burlington Baptist Church is hosting CoF, partnering with churches: St. Luke’s, St. Christopher’s, Knox, Port Nelson and Wellington Square, and also, McMaster University School of Nursing and Acclaim Health.  

The Difference it Makes

CoF is making a difference in the lives of socially-isolated older adults. CoF is enjoyed by all who participate and, after 15-week sessions, CoF is making some progress in leaving an imprint and building a confidence road that holds promise, reduces isolation and continues after our sessions end. In this year, 30 older adults registered and with 22 volunteers (also seniors), 12 young adults (McMaster University, School of Nursing) there was an average attendance of 13 older adults over the two sessions.  Educational sessions were presented, e.g. Halton Police Services, Ron Edwards YMCA, Burlington Public Library and Burlington Seniors’ Centre, Acclaim Health, Burlington Transit and others.  Some took advantage of field trips to community services, e.g. the Library.  Fun, an aid in socializing at each event, came in various ways: ukulele bands, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Santa Claus, a celebration of birthdays, making crafts and playing charades.

The Volunteers

One key to CoF success is the committed volunteers who, from week to week, put these older adults front and centre.  They are treated with respect, cheer and a setting that enables them to build relationships that may result in friendships which can, in themselves, reduce isolation.  In this ministry, volunteers are making a significant contribution in leadership to change the lives of socially-isolated older adults.


Another key is funding provided by Halton Region Community Investment Fund.  CoF, while not financially dependent our partner churches is providing the kinds of framework and cost management that are expected of those organizations that provide our grants.  

In Conclusion

CoF has an impact on the socially-isolated older adults who attend.  CoF can, with our wealth of experience, assist others in understanding how to develop a similar program. CoF provides a unique and positive venue to build capacity among nursing students about their knowledge of socially-isolated older adults.

March 2020


Until further notice