Survey gauges quality of life for community

NANAIMO – Nanaimo Foundation seeks input for its annual quality of life report.

The Nanaimo Foundation is again seeking input for a quality of life report card on the Harbour City.

More than 900 respondents took part in the 2014 Nanaimo Vital Signs report. While Nanaimo scored favourably in some areas, such as B-minus grades in ‘environment’ and ‘safety and security,’ it also received C-minus grades in ‘gap between rich and poor’ and ‘economy’ categories.

Information will be gleaned from a variety of sources, including a survey, Statistics Canada, the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation and Vancouver Island University.

According to Signy Madden, executive director of United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island and part of the Vital Signs community leadership team, the report was informative and more funding was offered as a result.

Madden pointed to the Kids 4 Kids program at Georgia Avenue School, a drop-in program for vulnerable children, that was dependent on volunteers. Paid coordination and money for food was needed, she said.

“[We] heard on the ground from people that this Kids 4 Kids program was something that we didn’t want to lose and we wanted to strengthen and so that’s one of the grants that is as a result of that,” said Madden.

Nanaimo Vital Signs is compiled through a partnership with a number of organizations, including Nanaimo Foundation, United Way, the City of Nanaimo and Island Savings.

“One of the main goals is to start conversations by pulling in existing statistics, existing information and pulling them into an easily-readable format, and that’s one of the great benefits of Vital Signs,” said Tim Mawdsley, chairman of Vital Signs for the Nanaimo Foundation.

To contribute to the report or for more information, please go to www.nanaimofoundation.com/vital-signs and complete the survey.

The 2015 report is expected to be made public Oct. 6.