A lot of debris was cleaned up by youth workers at Dianne Schwestak’s Crofton home. (Photo by Don Bodger)

A lot of debris was cleaned up by youth workers at Dianne Schwestak’s Crofton home. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Youth restore Crofton senior’s garden of earthly delights

Summer program provides a free service and gives participants a wage

Dianne Schwestak is appreciative of the efforts of youth workers to clean up the grounds at her Crofton home this summer.

The four Crofton residents from the Youth for Community program cleared debris and put the senior’s garden back in shape.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,” said Schwestak, quoting from Shakespeare to draw parallels to her revamped yard.

Schwestak’s mobility isn’t as good as it used to be to maintain the yard. She’s grateful for the youth program to provide a helping hand.

North Cowichan’s Youth for Community team spent the summer providing seniors with assistance for household chores. A donation from RBC’s Future Launch program allowed Youth Outreach to give local youth their first steps to employment.

The program employed youth ages 12-18 in Crofton and Chemainus who have regularly participated in youth outreach programs.

“Our youth team’s primary focus this summer will be to assist seniors within the community with pre-arranged tasks,” explained the municipality’s youth outreach programmer, Laura McIntyre.

Weeds pulled, plants watered and household chores were all handed over to the dedicated crew to knock them off those to-do lists.

The service was provided free to seniors in need, while youth earned a wage funded through RBC’s Future Launch program.

Schwestak’s main project has been to honour the memory of her husband of 54 years, Karl, by restoring his garden. She couldn’t do it on her own and the youth program turned out to be a godsend.

“He so enjoyed his retirement and an integral part of that was his garden,” noted Schwestak.