welcoming newcomers program looking for funding
It’s never easy moving to a new community. There are people to meet, schools to sort out for children, contacts to learn so you can access services and so much more. Now imagine trying to figure all that out while dealing with cultural and language differences. That’s the impetus behind United Way Perth Huron’s (UWPH) drive to fund a new program that focuses on building a stronger, more welcoming community for newcomers.
“The Social Research and Planning Council (SRPC) did a tremendous amount of research on this issue,” said UWPH Executive director Ryan Erb. “Thanks to the research, United Way knows the program is needed in our communities. There are challenges newcomers face, around employment, isolation and more, that need addressing.”
Called “Welcoming Newcomers to Perth and Huron Counties” (WNPHC), the program – offered through Centre for Employment and Learning locations across Perth and Huron – looks to provide newcomers with an easily-accessible location to access information and support to help them transition more easily into the community.
“We’re excited to see this program so close to fruition,” said Site Coordinator – Lead for Credit & ESL Programs at the Centre for Employment and Learning, Erin Jones. “Whether it’s helping newcomers navigate the healthcare system, doing paperwork to enrol a child in school, finding a place to live, or something as simple as getting a library card, WNPHC is meant to give newcomers the resources they need to succeed and stay in our local communities.”
WNPHC also aims to support the efforts of local economic development organizations to attract newcomers and collaborate with community agencies to ensure people are ready to live and work in the area, as well as educating area employers and communities about the benefits of creating a welcoming environment for newcomers.
Funding could still be an issue. Although there is a demonstrated need, and a willingness on United Way’s part to make the program a reality, ultimately donations will help decide if the program goes ahead or not.
“This year’s campaign has raised more than ever before,” concluded Erb. “But we still need added support to make this program happen. Currently, we’re about $43,000 away. If you haven’t donated yet, or if you have but want to give a little extra to help fund this program, now is the time!”
To help ensure Welcoming Newcomers to Perth and Huron Counties receives the funding it needs, UWPH’s Sweeter Endings promotion adds a little extra incentive for potential donors. The promotion provides donors in March with a sweet surprise along with their tax receipt; a United Way chocolate and 10 per cent off your next purchase at Rocky Mountain Chocolate locations in Stratford and London (Masonville).
United Way Perth-Huron is 100 per cent local and supports almost 50 organizations and services across Perth and Huron Counties. To donate, please call 519 271-7730 or 1-877-818-8867, drop by the UWPH offices at 32 Erie Street in Stratford, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit perthhuron.unitedway.ca
Workshops directed toward Non-profits held in Clinton
United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) is once again offering the Non-Profit Professional Development Series in both Perth and Huron Counties; ensuring local organizations have affordable access to professional development. Workshops are hosted at the Huron County Health Unit in Clinton, the Stratford Library and Trillium Mutual in Listowel. Libro Credit Union is pleased to continue their community partnership as the generous sponsor of this constructive series.
“United Way is committed to helping supported and community partners strengthen the quality and impact of programs and services available to the community. We know how prohibitive the cost of many workshops can be, especially once you add in the travel component,” commented Ryan Erb, UWPH Executive director. “We are proud to bring workshops to our local area that focus directly on our industry and are of help to staff, management and volunteers alike.”
“These workshops are open to everyone. Scenarios used in workshops may be non-profit specific, but any member of the community will benefit and are encouraged to register,” shared series organizer, Susan Faber. For location and times of the workshops go to perthhuron.unitedway.ca.
• Employee Retentions - a topical workshop for our local labor market where retention is paramount.
• Social Media - for non-profits covers the most useful platforms as well as the planning, strategies and analytics you need to make it work.
• Understanding Financials - which will be tremendously helpful for supervisors, managers, and board or committee members who don’t have a financial background. The workshop will cover financial statements, internal controls, financial terminology and board responsibilities.
• Managing Stress - will help staff to not only manage their own stress levels but help their peers manager theirs.
• Corporate Governance and Board Responsibilities - a great introduction or clarification for board members in Perth and Huron Counties.
A more comprehensive description of each workshop, along with information about the facilitators, cost and location can be found at perthhuron.unitedway.ca.
Participants can register by emailing KEYs@perthhuron.unitedway.ca or calling 519 271-2978.
Huron County talent helps paint Kitchener Green
The cast of "A Feast of Harps" took to the Registry Theatre stage on March 17. The performance featured many local Huron County talents as well as The Huron Harp School. (Photos courtesy IRL Festival 2018)
Members of The Huron Harp School and several other local talents helped the community of Kitchener, ON celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the evening of March 17 with a concert entitled, “A Feast of Harps”.
Concert participants ranged in age from 8-78 at the concert held at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener. The event was hosted by The Irish Real Life Festival as part of their Paint the Town Green Series that ran from March 10-18.
In addition to the 20 harpists with the school, familiar names on the Huron County music scene were also invited to take part including: Irish Dancer Shawnessy Sinnett, Kim and Travis Teed, Capucine Onn and Sons, Liam Morley, Clayton Peters and Bruce McDonald.
Alexa Yeo was the youngest harpist to perform with The Huron Hapr School. She also gave a violin solo.
Is there a Huron County arts, culture or heritage person, organization or business who made an impression on you in 2017? If so, Huron Arts & Heritage Network (HAHN), in partnership with Cultural Services of the County of Huron, invites you to nominate them for a 2018 Cultural Award. The awards recognize the exceptional achievements of Huron County residents, businesses, and organizations in the following categories: Cultural Event/Organization, Individual Artist, Community Contribution, Heritage, and Innovation.
The nomination process is simple and easy. Just fill in the one-page nomination form and include a short description telling us why you think your nominee is worthy of recognition in their category. Nomination forms and award guidelines can either be downloaded at creativehuron.ca or print copies can be picked up at any Huron County Library branch. Deadline for submissions is Apr. 8. Finalists and winners in each category will be selected by a jury from the eligible nominations received.
The ninth annual Cultural Awards Gala is set for Friday, Apr. 27 at the Blyth Memorial Community Hall, 431 Queen Street, Blyth. As well as recognizing the finalists and winners, this special evening will feature entertainment by a variety of local artists. There will also be a silent auction of unique items supporting the activities of Huron Arts & Heritage Network at the Awards Gala. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. with awards presentations beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 each plus a handling fee and can be purchased through www.eventbrite.ca.
Minds in Motion
There is increasing evidence linking a socially involved, physically active and mentally challenging lifestyle to helping reduce the risk of developing dementia, or slowing the progression of the disease, the Alzheimer Society of Huron County, in partnership with Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre, is delighted to offer Minds in Motion® to the South Huron area. The program incorporates physical and mentally stimulating activities for people with early to mid-stage signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, and their care partners.
The program will begin on Thursday, Apr. 5 and will be held for eight consecutive weeks from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre.
Minds in Motion is a two hour per week fun and family-friendly program which offers the opportunity to establish new friendships with others who are living the same experiences. Research shows that keeping mind and body fit has been proven to contribute to improved brain health for everyone, the program consists of two main components: a 45 to 60 minute fitness session and a 45 to 60 minute session of mentally stimulating activities, both facilitated by a Minds in Motion coordinator from the Alzheimer Society of Huron County.
Regular physical activity for people with dementia leads to a significant reduction in depression, an increased sense of independence and an improvement in quality of life. Minds in Motion helps care partners to focus on their own health as well, rather than focusing exclusively on the needs of the person they are caring for.
Minds in Motion was first introduced to Huron County in January 2015 as a pilot program and has now been continued on an interim basis with support from the Trillium Foundation and the Ontario Government. Minds in Motion is currently offered at three sites throughout Huron County: Clinton, Grand Bend and Wingham.
To register for the current Minds in Motion program in Grand Bend, please contact the Alzheimer Society of Huron County at 519 482-1482 or email: admin @alzheimerhuron.on.ca. There is a cost of $20 per person for this eight-week session.
The Harbouraires Men's Choir will be presenting an evening of songs and readings in a concert titled, "Celebrating Life" on March 27. This is their way of bringing comfort to those who grieve the loss of a loved one by remembering a life and finding peace.
The concert will be held in cooperation with McCallum and Palla Funeral Home and the Huron Hospice Volunteer Service. The Harbouraires will sing and readers from across local communities will offer readings that help with grief. Still others will be invited to light candles as memorials.
A reception will follow. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. at Bethel Pentecostal Church (across from McDonalds) in Goderich.
Taoist Tai Chi
People from all walks of life and across the world tell how the practice of Taoist Tai Chi® arts has relieved stress, provided deep relaxation, given their bodies balance and strength, helped with pain, lifted spirits and even changed their outlook on life.
Continuing and Beginner Classes are being offered in Bayfield in April. All are welcome to attend these classes taught by an accredited, volunteer instructor.
An Open House and free class will be held on Tuesday, Apr. 10, from 7-9 p.m. at the Bayfield Town Hall. Classes will continue on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. at the Town Hall.
For more information call Doug Brown at 519 565-5187.
BOWL FOR KIDS SAKE
It’s almost time for Bowl for Kids Sake a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Huron. Goderich Little Bowl will be the location of this Rock N’ Roll themed party on March 23.
The event will run from 7-9:30 p.m. and bowling is free with $50 or more in pledges. All are welcome to take part with team and individual prizes being offered.
For more information contact Goderich Little Bowl at 519 524-2695 or Big Brothers Big Sisters at 519 524-4361. Download the pledge forms at northhuron.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/event