Cultivating new connections at library

Gabriola Island Library

Submitted Article

Tuesday, February 28 2017

Gabriola Island is a close-knit community, but many of our young families are separated from grandparents, aunts and uncles, and island grandparents have children and relatives who live far away. 

For many Gabriola Islanders, social isolation and loneliness are very real, every day, challenges. 

The new Buds to Blossoms program at Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Gabriola Island branch aims to bring families and would-be grandparents together to forge new friendships and reduce the loneliness and isolation experienced by some Islanders.

“This really is a grassroots program,” says Gabriola Island Librarian Amy Dawley. “I was approached by some young Gabriola families who were eager to connect with grandparents on the Island, but these groups often move in different circles and attend different events. 

“The parents were looking for an opportunity to bridge that gap and bring people together, and what better place than the library? It’s like an adopt-a-trail program but with grandparents and kids!”

Buds to Blossoms has the goal of being that bridge the parents were hoping for. 

The program starts on Friday, March 3 and runs every Friday from 3 – 4:30 pm until March 24. Island grandparents and families with young children are invited to come together for crafting, playing with toys, and simply visiting together. 

The program is free of charge and open to everyone.