Local organizations and agencies dedicated to improving the wellbeing of Oxford County residents came together Wednesday morning to talk about the results of 2016 Community Wellbeing Survey at the Fusion Youth Centre.
The survey, released last fall, rated the wellbeing of adults in Oxford County through a number of markers including physical and mental health, life satisfaction, community vitality, wellbeing, living standards, leisure and culture and environment.
Measuring wellbeing over time provides information about quality of life that helps local government and organizations make decisions, invest in resources and monitor progress.
Over 11,000 randomly selected households in Oxford County, representing 25 per cent of all households, were asked to take part in the survey.
The final survey offers a snapshot of the wellbeing of local citizens and the results are being used to set baseline targets in the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan.
Entitled Building on the Oxford Community Wellbeing Survey, the event featured Dr. Bryan Smale, director of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, a research group at the University of Waterloo that records and publishes reports on the state of Canadian’s wellbeing through eight domains.
“It’s the first opportunity for Community Oxford to share with everyone in the county the results of the survey and how they can be used to bring about the kind of change they want to bring,” Smale said.
Participants at Wednesday's event worked together through discussions at round tables to “dig into the report.”
“We put people from different sectors together such as health, environment, and poverty to talk about the results and ask what can we collaborate on to improve the quality of life for residents in Oxford,” Smale said. “By bringing people together, they might come to an innovative solution for everyone.”
Smale described Oxford’s efforts as “proactive” in bringing people together with “the mission of improving life in Oxford County.”
“We are thrilled to be a small part of grander ambitions,” he said.
Kelly Gilson, co-chair of the Community Wellbeing Survey Oxford committee and executive director of the United Way, said the event was the first time the report had been shared publicly.
“It’s really the first public release where we can bring people together and share the information,” she said. “Each individual organization will pick out different important pieces, the aha moments, for their work. For United Way, we are interested in the sense of wellbeing, access to health and mental health services, as well as access to leisure services as part of wellbeing.”
Oxford Community Wellbeing Highlights:
*61.3 per cent of adults were satisfied with their work situation
*88.9 per cent of adults feel they have a personal responsibility to protect the environment
*58.8 per cent of adults commute less than 15 minutes a day
*38.3 per cent of adults with children believe that access to childcare is adequate
*Ingersoll residents reported the lowest levels of agreement that the air and water quality were good
*People in Tillsonburg reported the lowest level of life satisfaction
*Adults in the lowest income category reported poorer quality of life on almost every characteristic
*Rural adults reported the highest levels of life satisfaction and wellbeing and more often provided unpaid help to pthers
To view the entire Wellbeing Survey report go to www.communityoxford.ca.