In February 2014, the Victoria Leadership Awards celebrated a successful decade of honouring inspired leadership in the community. Led by Leadership Victoria, the annual ceremony is a partnership between Leadership Victoria, the University of Victoria, the Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria, the Victoria Foundation and the United Way of Greater Victoria. Eight prestigious categories recognize an incredible array of passionate and committed leaders – from youth to lifetime achievement.
The Victoria Foundation Community Leadership Award recognizes an organization that is building community capacity and achieving positive change. This year, the recipient was The Cridge Centre for the Family.
Founded in 1873 as the BC Protestant Orphan Home, The Cridge Centre serves children, adults and families, to maximize their opportunities to participate and grow in the responsibilities and enjoyment of family life and loving relationships and to achieve their potential.
The Cridge Centre's services include childcare, supportive housing for families in crisis, a Transition house for women and children escaping domestic violence, Respite and Respitality services for families of children with disabilities, young parent outreach services, residential and community services for survivors of Brain Injury, and Seniors' Assisted Living.
The Cridge Centre for the Family… because love is the bottom line.
We were so touched by the acceptance speech given by The Cridge Centre's Board of Directors President, Val Fuller that we wanted to share it with you here:
You may only see one person standing before you to receive this award but that’s only because there wouldn’t be enough space in this room to fit all those I represent. If you use your imagination you will see the faces of the Cridge Centre for the Family from the past 140 years standing with me. Starting with those that are in the room but still at their seats: Shelley Morris, our amazing CEO and the innovative and talented team of managers she has brought together to run the current day to day operations and services. You’ll also see the ten passionate Board Directors I have the privilege of serving along side.
If you look a little deeper, in your mind’s eye, you will see here with me another 200 current staff and volunteers serving our community and they stand as representatives for the thousands that have served, as part of the Cridge family in the past. You’ll see them holding the hands of the thousands of children that have passed through the doors of the original orphanage and, today, our childcare facilities. Maybe you see them brushing the dust off the shoulder of a brain injury survivor who has just come in from working in our community garden. They are there, wiping the tear of sadness or, maybe relief, of a woman and her children, survivors of domestic violence.
Behind me are the smiles of refugees learning just what it means to integrate into Canadian culture and beside them, a single mom getting the financial tools she needs to budget her family back to independence and a future. Behind me are a mom and dad looking more rested than they have in years because they have found support through respite care and the Cridge Respitality program. And then there’s grandma and grandpa, who can once again, call the Cridge center “home”. Remembering the orphanage, they never thought they’d find themselves living in the original building again, now a beautiful home for senior living.
And it's you, and your neighbour and your colleague, your church, your business, who join those who have stood with us for over 140 years in this community. And behind all of us, Bishop and Mary Cridge, who never dreamed that the work they started would last so long and touch so many. Around us all, embracing each one, are the everlasting arms of our Loving God. And it’s all of us together, standing before you with hearts full or gratitude and blessing that say, as one, “THANK-YOU” for your support and recognition this afternoon.
Victoria Foundation Board Chair Rasool Rayani with The Cridge Centre for the Family's Board President, Val Fuller. Photo credit: Black Press Greater Victoria