A New Season Brings Change

Victoria Cool Aid Society:
Downtown Community Centre

With spring only just begun, the new season brings change and some much needed support to the Downtown Community Centre of the Victoria Cool Aid Society.

With the support of the Victoria Foundation, the Downtown Community Centre is in the process of hiring an assistant to expand our hours of operation and be able to better meet the needs of individuals living within the downtown core.

The focus of the assistant position will be to develop and facilitate programs aimed at providing youth ages 19-26 and marginalized adults with access to leisure, life skills and recreational opportunities – volleyball, community kitchen, increase computer room schedule, yoga, expressive arts – activities that will happen in the late afternoon, early evening and on Saturdays – times when the Community Centre is currently closed.

Drop in hockey

Most service providers within the downtown core close at 5 pm and/or are closed on the weekend. By expanding our hours of operation, we can provide free or very low cost healthy leisure and recreational options in a safe and welcoming environment, where clients will have an opportunity to have fun, learn new skills and enhance skills they already have. It is also aimed to create choice – a choice to spend time in a way that adds value to living life no matter what existing barriers a client may be experiencing.

The Victoria Cool Aid Society has been changing lives and building hope since 1968. Expanding the hours of the Downtown Community Centre is a natural extension of our community outreach.

We know that sometimes all it takes is one moment of change, one connection, to create a positive domino effect within a person’s life. We recognize too the impact social isolation can have when an individual is struggling with recovery, addiction and mental health issues. Belonging and feeling a part of something is a huge component of personal well being and I hope that in the months ahead, that I will be able to share stories of lives enriched, program successes and change underway with you, the supporters of the Victoria Foundation who have made this change possible.

Pandora Street

UPDATE – May 6, 2011: The centre has filled the position. Read about their new assistant.

Donna McKenna has 20 years experience working in psychosocial rehabilitation – creating, utilizing, facilitating and measuring/evaluating program plans to assist individuals in achieving their goals – moving people along the spectrum of illness to wellness. Client plans include job search, supported volunteer & employment opportunities, therapeutic recreation, life skills, support groups, educational outreach and creating opportunities for fellowship and community development. Donna McKenna came to Cool Aid and Victoria via the East Side in Vancouver where she did similar work.

Donna can be reached by phone at 250-383-0076 or in person at the Downtown Community Centre located at 755 Pandora Avenue.