Dan Benedict Memorial Award

Dan Benedict Memorial Award

OSSCO©©© established this distinguished award to celebrate the contributions of an individual or organization for the many ways that benefit the senior’s community. The Award honors the legacy of OSSCO©©© former board member Dan Benedict, who was known for social justice and his fight against ageism.  The individual or organization recognized with this award demonstrates commitment to social justice in leadership, transformational advancements in partnership/collaboration, community mobilization or innovative engagement.


Dan Benedict Memorial Award Recipients 2022

Join OSSCO©©© in congratulating these 3 non-profits and 1 collaborative for their efforts and work in social justice in the seniors’ sector.

Leadership:  Accessible Housing Network

A collaborative of more than 35 non-profit Canadian organizations, they initiated outreach to every level of government with a call to action: make universal design mandatory in every unit in all new multi-unit residential buildings, both rental and ownership by amending the Building Code within their jurisdiction – regardless of age.

Innovation: Caribbean Canadian Seniors Group

They transitioned from a traditional seniors’ centre to a supportive service model through affiliations and online program delivery. Community Strong joined up to deliver meals to seniors living alone. Tablets and computers were provided to those who did not them. More programs were offered and attended remotely by members than before the pandemic. Transportation was provided for seniors for COVID-19 vaccinations. The Group also opened its doors to facilitate vaccine clinics in their community.

Community Mobilization: The Good Companions Centre for Seniors

They effectively mobilized the broader community and actively involved senior citizens to address issues of local concern. They mobilized support for low-income and disadvantaged seniors. They took their W.O.W. program provincial, and integrated new volunteers into their centre’s outreach programs. They reduced social isolation for both the centre’s members and volunteers as well as raised awareness of gaps and opportunities in the seniors’ community.

Partnerships & Collaborations: The Centre for Spanish Speaking Seniors

This centre in north Toronto successfully created and cultivated partnerships and collaborations. They brought together the LGBTQ+ community, as well as inter-generational gatherings to increase those important connections. They work with seniors in the Downsview/Black Creek neighborhoods. They partnered with COSTI to deliver an Ethno-Cultural and Linguistically Based Support Services for People Living with Dementia (PLWD). They also piloted a caregiver educational and support group followed by engaging 5 ethno-cultural communities in the GTA to facilitate caregiver support.