Healthy Communities

Grounded in research documenting the social determinants of health, Healthy Communities is one of CBT’s core priorities. 

Eat West Coast and the Coastal Family Resources Coalition are two key initiatives under CBT’s Healthy Communities priority. In addition, CBT supports programs as a means of fostering a regional identity, belonging and inclusion, which are essential to health. These include participating in Random Acts of Kindness Day to celebrate community connections and encourage a ‘pay it forward’ philosophy; coordinating Leadership Vancouver Island that has grown to foster regional connections via cross-community and cross-cultural relationships; and administering the Neighbourhood Small Grants program based on the simple but powerful idea that when people are active in the life of their neighbourhood, our communities are strengthened from the ground up and are a better place to live.

Eat West Coast

Eat West Coast is a regional food security initiative of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. It is part of Island Food Hubs, a collective of organizations working together under Island Health to address food issues and ultimately improve health.

Food security exists when everyone in our community has physical and economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, and culturally-appropriate food to be happy and healthy. As a CBT priority, food security encompasses many of the things that lead to health: a clean environment, employment, cultural relevance, education, and self-esteem. Since 2009, and with funding from Island Food Hubs since 2012, this program has helped vulnerable individuals and communities in the CSBR develop effective, community-based responses to food access challenges and increase the understanding of healthy, affordable food choices.

In the past two years, EWC has focused on building partnerships across organisations and communities around local priorities and increasing local capacity. In 2017, EWC was able to start supporting collaborative projects with these new partnerships and new funding sources. Priorities include strengthening food access networks, addressing food issues for children, emergency food planning (natural disasters) and recognition of west coast food security in ACRD priorities and strategic plans. The CBT also renewed its contract with Island Health to continue coordination services for the Hub Program overall into 2019.

Find EWC projects and resources at www.eatwestcoast.ca

Coastal Family Resources Coalition

The Coastal Family Resources Coalition is an organization that works to develop capacity on the West Coast to address the needs of children, youth, families and communities, and improve communications and networking between service providers, agencies, communities and funders. 

Approximately 6,000 people live on the west coast of Vancouver Island, occupying 8 communities scattered over more than 350,000 hectares. The communities are the district of Tofino and the district of Ucluelet, as well as six First Nation communities: Macoah, Hitacu, Esowista, Opitsaht, Ahousaht and Hot Springs Cove.

This very small number of residents over a very large – and remote – area makes it difficult to provide essential community services equally across the region. Seeing this as more of a challenge than a problem, service providers banded together to form the Coastal Family Resources Coalition (the Coalition) in 2003. Working together, the Coalition is able to share local knowledge and act in unison to provide the best services possible to local communities.

The Coalition is a strong committee of representatives who provide services for local children, youth and families in our communities. Monthly meetings are held from September until June in alternating communities to provide an opportunity to network, share resources and reduce duplication. The Coalition’s goal is to see progress in the overall health in our communities.