A local health program for seniors at Confederation Centre is facing an uncertain future, now that funding from Fraser Health is dwindling.
The volunteer-run Seniors Active in Living program is appealing to the public for donations to keep the sessions going.
"We're starting a major fundraiser in the community, asking people. We need their help because we can no longer count on the health-care system to fund us," said long-time volunteer Doreen Player.
The program runs every Tuesday, from 9: 30 to 11: 45 a.m., at Confederation Centre. Seniors can get their blood pressure, height and weight checked, enjoy massages and partake in "energy healing." There is also a health information presentation, followed by chair exercises.
Confederation is not the only community centre to host the program. Burnaby's other three centres - Bonsor, Edmonds and Cameron - also run the program, but they've found alternate sources of funding, according to Player.
Fraser Health spokesperson Roy Thorpe-Dorward said the funding was a one-time grant for the 2011/12 fiscal year for $30,000. The money was earmarked for the programs in all four community centres.
"It's one-time funding, so the commitment is only a year, but we have provided it several times in a row," he said. "It hasn't been renewed for this fiscal year."
Thorpe-Dorward also said the health authority gave notice in 2009 that the funding would not continue forever, giving the volunteers advance notice to find money elsewhere.
"Even though this program supported overall wellness for seniors, . the health care component was fairly limited," he said.
"When we had to look at our funding, we needed to pull back from these things that were (not especially) health care or core health care."
Player said the volunteers with the Confederation program would like to secure funding for the next couple of years till they can ask the government for more money.
"We're approaching the community, we are sending out letters and information on the program. We are tying to reach our membership, businesses and corporations," she said.
Player said the goal is to raise $10,000, and they have $1,200 so far. To donate, call 778-882-3840.