October 7, 2008
For Immediate Release
Mississauga – Today at its annual Celebration Day, Peel Children’s Centre – the primary provider of children’s mental health services in Peel Region – celebrated the spirit of volunteerism, recognizing the substantial achievements of its volunteers and welcoming new funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation that will enable the Centre to expand and enhance its volunteer services.
Peel Children’s Centre applauded the efforts of Gwen Fearing, 2008 winner of the Centre’s Ron Lenyk Volunteer of the Year Award. In the past year, Gwen has mentored a boy to help him develop social skills, build self-esteem, and achieve academic success. She also supports the Centre’s fundraising activities and special events.
As an example of Gwen’s special qualities, the Centre’s staff wrote, “After finding out that this client had an interest in playing the drums, Gwen called various music schools to see what she could do for him. To his excitement, she was able to find one that would give him a free drum session. This is only one of many examples of her dedication and resourcefulness.”
The Centre also thanked the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which recently approved a grant of $225,000 over three years to enable Peel Children’s Centre to hire an additional staff member who will coordinate the delivery of expanded volunteer programs to support the Centre’s clients. Neil Bunn, a volunteer with the Foundation, was on hand to share the good news for children, youth and families needing mental health services, and for residents seeking opportunities to contribute to their communities through volunteerism.
“Each year more than 120 specialized volunteers support children, youth and families receiving services at Peel Children’s Centre,” said Humphrey Mitchell, the Centre’s Executive Director. “Our volunteers are mentors, tutors, childcare providers, drivers, family resource coordinators, fundraisers, and Board Directors. Volunteers are truly the heart of our agency,” Mitchell said.
For a child and family/caregiver receiving mental health services, a volunteer can make a huge, positive difference. Recently a grandmother left this message for the Centre’s volunteer coordinator: “Just wanted to let you know the first meeting with G. and M. was unbelievable! When he came home, I opened the door, his face was like a Christmas tree and the first thing he said to me was, ‘Nan, he’s cool.’ … It was a hit all the way. I am very happy and I know he is.”
“This grant will allow us to engage more volunteers to support children, youth and their families who are experiencing serious challenges with relationships, feelings or behaviour. Thank you, Ontario Trillium Foundation, on behalf of the Peel community,” Mitchell said.
“Peel Children’s Centre does such tremendous work in our community and I am happy that they are receiving this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant,” said Mississauga-Brampton South MPP Amrit Mangat. “The volunteers that support Peel Children’s Centre help to make a real difference in the lives of people throughout Peel.”
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For over 25 years, it has supported the growth and vitality of communities across the province. For more information, please visit www.trilliumfoundation.org.
Information: Mora Thompson, Manager, Corporate Communications and Development