October 2020 Newsletter

What’s New at Over 55:

Fall is here! And with the arrival of the cooler weather, it’s time to turn our thoughts to those fall projects you may have been considering. Although the pandemic has meant challenges to the way things are done, it’s still important to keep on top of maintenance projects. And Over 55 Skills at Work is here to help. Please contact us at for more information about the services that we provide. If you’re working on a “to do” list, here’s some advice that you may find useful.

COVID-19 and Halloween

The pandemic has raised questions and concerns among families about trick-or-treating this year. Recent media reports include comments by Mayor Ed Holder and Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Mackie, which highlight considerations in planning for Halloween. Neighbourhood watch London has put together a special Halloween guide, which you can read here: NWL COVID-19 Halloween Tips

Goodbye Summer!

Decluttering things that may have accumulated over the summer is a good way to welcome the fall. It may seem overwhelming, but here are a few tips to getting started:

  • Donate warm weather clothes that didn’t see the sun this year.
  • Take the time to go through your garage while the weather is still warm
  • Recycle summer magazines you’re holding onto “just in case” for things like recipes.
  • Recycle boxes that may be lying around from online orders.

Lawnmower Maintenace

It’s almost time to park the lawnmower for the winter. And it’s easy to forget about the mower once it’s back in the garage. But here are some tips to help ensure that it will be in smooth running order when you need it again in the spring.

  • For Gas Mowers: Drain the gas at the end of the mowing season. Old gas is one of the main reasons a mower won’t start at the beginning of the season.
  • Clean out the undercarriage. Caked grass can clog the discharge chute.
  • Change the spark plug every year to ensure an easy start.
  • For Gas and Riding Lawnmowers: Consider a professional tuneup and routine maintenance, including a diagnostic test.

Eavestrough Cleaning

It’s important to make sure that your eavestroughs and clean and in good shape BEFORE the snow and ice hits. Otherwise, you could experience costly damage such as:

  • Roof damage: When clogs cause flooding, it could produce rot on the roof.
  • Pests: Clogged eavestroughs can be an appealing nesting site.
  • Garden Bed Damage: Excess water spilling from clogs can damage plants over time.
  • Foundation Damage: If water overflows and pools along the foundation, it can freeze and possibly generate cracks, leading to serious damage and expensive repairs.

Eavestroughs are often out of reach and working at heights can be extremely dangerous for untrained individuals. Be sure to contact us for a quote on eavestrough cleaning if you need help.

A Special Note From London Police Service Regarding Increased Bank Fraud

Be aware of recent reports of personal banking fraud. Here’s how the scam works: The victim is approached by someone who says they’ve lost their wallet or phone. The suspect asks for assistance, sending a fake electronic fund transfer to the victim. The victim is convinced to withdraw cash from an ATM, and hands the money over to the suspect. After the suspect has left the area, the victim realizes they have been defrauded. In another scenario, the victim is asked to deposit a cheque by the suspect into their personal bank account and turn over the money to the suspect. The victim later discovers the cheque was fraudulent.

“The London Police Service would like to remind the public that agreeing to withdraw funds from a bank account for a stranger is very risky, and usually ends up in a situation where the victim loses money. Any time someone wants to use your personal bank account for their benefit, it comes with great risk and should be avoided to protect the integrity of your bank account and personal finances” according to the London Police website.

Canine Kudos!

Here’s another great note from our friends at Neighbourhood Watch London: Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes they have four legs! London police dog Koda, is being credited with helping the Canine Unit catch a stolen vehicle suspect. The vehicle had been taken from south London residence September 28th. Police tracked down the van, and as they approached the vehicle, the suspect fled into an alley. Koda led police to a man hiding inside a large garbage dumpster. The suspect has been charged with theft over $5000.

Until next month, we hope that you stay safe and healthy.

The Over 55 London Team


OTF Grow Grant Summary

Thank You OTF!

With the pandemic impacting so many communities around the world, we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on a positive end to our OTF Grow Grant.

In 2017, Over 55 Skills At Work was awarded an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grow Grant. The $397,000 was invested into our organization to help it grow and diversify its operations and membership, with a special focus on recruiting more female and ethnocultural Associates.

A core component of this project also reflected on offering increased training opportunities to our Members. All new members now receive access to intake training, and in addition, were able to offer the following workshops for the first time in our 30+ year history:

  • Small Business Workshops, including marketing, digital marketing and small business finance
  • Technology training – E-Mail, smartphones and more
  • First-Aid
  • Working At Heights
  • WSIB
  • Customer Service & Conflict Resolution

While the COVID-19 pandemic did impact our efforts, we were able to enjoy significant growth and impact with the valuable support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This 3 year period allow us not only to grow our organization, but it also allowed us to expand outside of London, with Guelph and Chatham-Kent on our roadmap for 2020. It also led to several community partnerships, including our management of Neighbourhood Watch London.

Ontario Trillium Foundation Logo

Unfortunately, this pandemic also forced us to cancel our planned OTF recognition event, which was to be attended by OTF Staff, local MPs/MPPs, local media, and our team. We have created a short video highlighting some of our OTF achievements, and hope that the community recognizes OTF for its support of our, and many other organizations.

This global pandemic has caused our economies to contract and change, with effects that will be felt for years. While over the short-term this has impacted our operations, we are confident that we can create long-term entrepreneurship, training and employment opportunities for individuals age 55+ in our communities.

While this OTF grant has ended, we will continue to work hard to create opportunities for mature entrepreneurs, and to serve seniors in our community.

Over 55 Logo
Home Renovations

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Conserving energy in your home benefits your wallet and the environment. Now, more than ever, people are looking for ways to minimize their carbon footprint and be more gentle with the Earth. Along with energy-saving behaviours such as taking shorter showers, being cautious of what time you should run appliances, turning lights off and unplugging unused electronics, there are some changes you can make to your home that will significantly cut your energy consumption. 

Home Renovations

10 Kitchen & Bathroom Upgrade Ideas to Increase Your Resale Value

If you’re looking to sell your home or increase its value, here are 10 kitchen and bathroom upgrade ideas that could increase your resale value. Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a list to help set you on the right path and give some inspiration for your upcoming project.


Over 55 Successfully Partners With Neighbourhood Watch!

After a couple of months of intense negotiating, Over 55 Skills at Work has successfully partnered with Neighbourhood Watch London. The embattled community safety program was facing severe funding cuts, leaving its fate uncertain. Our very own Rodolfo Martinez saw an opportunity to help, recognizing the important role Neighbourhood Watch plays within the community. Boasting over 460 chapters and over 22,000 households, Neighbourhood Watch is a strong presence in the Forest City.


How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint from Home

As the years have continued to progress—as they do—so too have the calls to address climate change. While the problem is indeed global, changing habits at a local level can help offset the strain on our environment. This isn’t new news, but knowledge is power, and sometimes a little encouragement is all we need. Knowing how to reduce your carbon footprint from home is a great first step toward addressing a wasteful lifestyle.


Reflecting on a Year of Growth

Looking Ahead to Year 3 of Our OTF Grow Grant

In April of 2017, we were thrilled to announce that the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) had chosen to support Over 55 through a Grow Grant.  The $397,000 awarded to our organisation has already had a significant impact in growing our membership base, as well as social enterprise revenues.  2018 Represented a record growth in the number of our Associate Members – individuals age 55+, who work as entrepreneurs delivering important services to the community.  With the support of OTF, we hope to do something that we have never done before: to achieve over 100 active senior entrepreneurs on our membership roster.

Over 55 Skills At Work - Man cutting floor tile

As we begin to enter the final year of our OTF Grow grant, we are also excited to expand to other communities, with our first pilot being in Guelph.

Over 55 Skills At Work - Female Senior Entrepreneur

In closing, we would like to thank OTF, our community partners, staff, volunteers, and our Associate Members, as we look forward to the next phase of growth for Over 55 Skills At Work.

Ontario Trillium Foundation Logo

Rejuvenate Your Space: Tips for Decluttering Your Home

Categorized post-it notes for decluttering your home

2019 is officially upon us, and as is custom, people like to begin the new year with a clean slate. New Year’s resolutions (whether or not they’re fully realized) are all about putting your good intentions out into the universe. So, it’s probably no coincidence that Netflix’s wildly popular Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, is trending these days. Therefore, we’ve decided to put together some quick tips for decluttering your home.


Winterize Your Home With This Handy Checklist

Alberta clippers, polar vortexes, and nor’easters are on the way. Will it be another snowmageddon or a snowpocalypse? A Snowtastrophe? Complete snownihilation? However your news station decides to characterize this year’s somehow-record-breaking winter season, one thing is certain: we are sure to get weather. With that said, it’s important to remember to properly winterize your home, otherwise you may run into trouble sooner than you’d like as the snow thaws. Here are a few things to keep in mind before hibernation really sets in.


Boost Your Mood This Winter: 5 Quick & Easy Tips –

The season of grey clouds, frosted car windows, and laneways blocked by city plows is upon us. And just because it’s easy to slide into hermit mode, that doesn’t mean it has to be all doom and gloom. There are a variety of ways we can steel ourselves against the winter woes, and we’ve come up with a short list of methods to help boost the mood this season. This list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it ranked in any particular order. So, do with it as you will, because like it or not, winter is here.