All Stories

The Government of Canada supports Compassion Calls by Canadore College Students

Apr 14, 2020

The Village at Canadore College is partnering with local organizations to help residents in North Bay, Nipissing, and Parry Sound who are facing social isolation as a result of COVID-19. 

Funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program is helping to launch The Village C.A.R.E.S, an initiative where students in Canadore’s Social Service Worker and Mental Health and Addictions Worker programs will reach out, providing wellness and reassurance calls to isolated seniors during the pandemic.  Research shows that regular contact decreases the anxiety associated with being isolated. 

C.A.R.E.S stands for:   Compassion Calls






C.A.R.E.S agents will contact long-term care residents and other vulnerable individuals to provide reassurance calls.  The calls, which are designed to provide social contact and a check-in, will see a social or recreational connection develop between student and client, where they can talk about topics of interest.  The clients will receive a phone call on a regular basis over an 8-week period.

“Our seniors are the backbone of our communities. They have spent a lifetime committing to better realities for the generations that followed,” said Shawn Chorney, Vice-President of Student Services, Indigenous and Student Success. “Sadly, many of us are not able to tend to our relationships with seniors in the ways we have been accustomed to. Through The Village C.A.R.E.S project, we are removing barriers to isolation and loneliness by applying technological advances to create the same sense of collective community care that was once the norm.”

Instead of deferring students’ placements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program, which will begin the week of April 20, 2020, will help students complete their hours towards their program requirements.  Organizations and institutions are partnering with The Village C.A.R.E.S project by providing the names and contact information for individuals who want to receive wellness calls. We are working to continue this program with future student cohorts and volunteers.

“The Village C.A.R.E.S is one example of how our students can use their newly acquired skills to listen, encourage and reassure by harnessing technology and innovation to reach those affected by physical distancing,” said Lisa McCool-Philbin, Dean of Faculty of Human and Social Science.

The Village is a world-class health and wellness facility that is providing a ground-breaking approach to educating the next generation of Canada’s health and social service professionals.  It is the first facility of its kind in Canada and blends Indigenous, Eastern and Western health practices with student-led facilities.


For more information contact: Micheline McWhirter, Project Manager- Village Collective Impact Project at or at 705-358-2829. For future project updates go to

#Experiential Learning #Health, Human, Wellness #Access and Inclusion #New #Programs #Research #The Village #News #Canadore College #Vice President #Shawn Chorney