Community foundation preparing for second vital signs report

The Comox Valley Community Foundation is in the midst of working on its second Vital Signs report.

The Vital Signs report is considered a check-up to measure the vitality of communities and significant trends related to the quality of life.

Jody Macdonald, executive director of the CVCF said the initial Vital Signs, produced in 2016, was very well received within the Comox Valley community.

“It wonderful that people understand different ways to use it. Many non-profits and local agencies are referring to it as a single source for grant applications rather than looking at a variety of research reports,” she explained and added it is also being used as a source of data for municipalities and a reference guide for community members.

The report gathers and publishes data in an accessible format on significant social and economic trends, and aims to promote awareness of community issues and can generate discussion, drive policy change and focus community leadership activities in the Valley, Macdonald noted.

CVCF board member Norm Carruthers said looking ahead to the 2018 Vital Signs report, the organization is hoping to reach a broader perspective in order to gather more comprehensive data, including more youth and those in a variety of socio-economic classes.

“We’re also looking at ways to provide greater information on issues around the community.”

MacDonald added they are looking to build upon collaborative partnerships, such as with North Island College and the Comox Valley Health Network.

“It’s part of the community conversation to help engage people with data, and start to prioritize what are the issues and the greater community needs.”

For the 2018 report, CVCF has hired a community engagement and project manager on contract, with the goal of having a more comprehensive report.

Carruthers noted they are aiming to have “a good representation sample as opposed to a statistically valid survey.”

The organization will be collecting data through various channels and will end data collection by June.

The community will have the opportunity to contribute to the report, via an online survey, which will be available on the CVCF website in the coming weeks.

The report is set to be published by early October, consistent with the launch of other vital signs reports from other community foundations across Canada.

For more information, or to view the 2016 report, visit cvcfoundation.org/vital-signs.

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