Wellness busy during pandemic

The Wellness group of volunteers quietly goes about the business of providing services to older people in the area. From Meals on Wheels to driving people to medical appointments and the grocery store, it is an essential service for many. You could say that it is seniors helping seniors since so many volunteers are over 65 themselves.

 “One of our Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers is Louis Pagé, who’s 97 years old,” says Gib Rotherham, president of the Wellness Centre.

The age of the volunteers became a problem at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. So did the demand for services as more people were stuck at home. The older drivers were not allowed to work due to health restrictions. “One volunteer delivered ninety percent of the meals over a three-month period,” says Gib. That volunteer is Ross Clarkson, assistant fire chief for the Town of Brome Lake.

“I probably delivered five hundred meals over that time span,” says Ross, who just turned 48.

The Town of Brome Lake Wellness Volunteer Centre was founded 35 years ago by Diane Harrison, Peter Kerrigan and Ethel George. Today there are about fifty volunteers, with eight of them on the board of directors. The services the group provides include ‘friendly visits,’ Meals on Wheels, providing an emergency alert system for people who need them, transportation and special events, such as group lunches. Wellness provides about 2,300 meals a year. The service operates four days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

To contact Wellness: 450-242-2020 (Pearl).