Saanich Mayor Proclaims “Prevention of Violence Against Women Week”

Each April since 1995, British Columbia has observed Prevention of Violence Against Women week on the third week of April, this year falling on April 16 – 20. While this provincial observance still stands, there are, sadly, no provincial activities. Seeing this, The Cridge Transition House for Women asked ‘what more can we do’  to fight violence against women, and in turn we ask the community ‘what can/will you do?’

At the request of The Cridge Transition House for Women, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard has proclaimed April 16 – 20 prevention of violence against women week in Saanich (Click here to view the proclamation). As the only transition house in Saanich, we are grateful for his endorsement. The proclamation will hang in its frame in The Cridge Transition House, providing encouragement to the over 200 women and children who either stay in the home or find safety by working with the house outreach worker. 
 
 
The issue of violence against women continues to plague our society. But there are things that each of us can do everyday, not just during this week, to make a difference. Here are a few suggestions:
 
When you find yourself or hear someone else asking why a woman doesn’t  just leave an  abusive relationship, put the responsibility where  it belongs by asking instead, why doesn’t her partner just stop hitting her.
 
When you hear the staggering statistics of the incidence of violence against women and the costs to our health care, justice and social systems, pay attention. Don’t get sidetracked by arguments that the reports must be wrong or that there are other issues that more urgently need  our attention. The fact is that too many women live in fear in their own homes. The needs of all the other social injustices do not make stopping violence against women a lesser priority. 
 
When you hear or see attitudes, words or behaviours that put women down and promote violence, do not be silent.  Boycott violence promoted as entertainment.  Speak up and speak out.   
 
When you hear the news about a woman being beaten or killed, do not allow it to be excused because that is what supposedly happens in her culture.  There is no cultural prerogative for abuse and violence.
 
When you are wondering what the government’s funding priorities are, ask why transition house programs have been denied even small funding increases for over six years.  Ask what this says about government’s real commitment to stopping violence against women.  
 
These are just a few of the many things that can be done to promote and advocate for women’s safety, respect and equality. If you are already doing something about stopping violence against women, keep up the good work.  Encourage those who are taking action alongside you and ask others to join you.  Stopping the violence against women is not only a women’s issue nor is it only a once a year campaign.  It is a call to action to everyone every day.  So, what will you do this week and every week to make our communities and province a safe place for all women?

In Memorium: Anne Spicer

We learned on the morning of Friday, April 13 of the passing of a dear friend and committed leader of The Cridge Centre, Anne Spicer.

Chief Executive Officer Shelley Morris shares the prayers of all who knew Anne and benefited from her committment to our work: 

"With heavy hearts for ourselves and her family, we announce the news that Anne Spicer, beloved board member emeritus and matriarch of The Cridge Centre has been promoted to glory and reunited in heaven with her beloved spouse Dick.

A servant of the Lord in every respect, Anne changed the world.  Deeply respected, dearly loved, our Anne will always be remembered, and we will strive to make her proud and to serve in the way that she taught us."

Victoria Transmission and Auto Care Support Women

The Cridge Transition House for Women is pleased to announce a significant new partnership with Victoria Transmission & Auto Care, in its ongoing work to help and support women and young children attempting to leave abusive and violent relationships.
 
As a part of the partnership, Victoria Transmission is sponsoring a new community awareness collateral piece that explains the work of The Cridge Transition House for Women and ways for women and children in situations of domestic violence to find help. Victoria Transmission is also donating a percentage of sales the week of May 28, 2012 to the non-profit.
 
Added Shannon Whissell, Manager of Communication & Fund Development for The Cridge Centre for the Family: “This partnership is extremely important to us, and is the kind of relationship that we would like to establish with other local businesses in support of our efforts to help women leave abusive or violent relationships. Raising the profile of The Cridge Transition House for Women is essential to ensuring that women in need know we are here to help them, and the support of Victoria Transmission in raising that profile and providing much needed funding is invaluable. ”
 

The new credit card sized collateral piece was designed by local marketing firm Ideba. The piece is made of plastic so that it will stay in circulation, and be passed on from woman to woman. Distribution will be via The Cridge Transition House for Women and at local events in which the non-profit is already participating.
 
Funded by the provincial government and private donations, The Cridge Transition House for Women is a safe place for women with or without children who are escaping violent or abusive relationships. The Cridge Transition House provides secure emergency shelter, supportive counseling – including meeting the needs of children, connections to community support, and access to support from other women in the same situation. 
 
Victoria Transmission & Auto Care is a privately held company, serving Victoria, the regional municipalities and the remainder of Vancouver Island. 
 
If you or someone you know would like a copy of the card,
please contact The Cridge Transition House for Women
outreach worker at (250) 479-3963 

 

Bridging the Gap for Families

Mother May I Productions has been holding its premier event, Bridging the Gap, for three years. This year The Cridge Respitality Service is proud to have been invited to participate. 

Beyond ABC there is a World of Possibility… 

Bridging the Gap offers parents of children from preschool through early elementary the opportunity to discover and explore the diverse educational opportunities available in our community. Families of young children can come and enjoy 
 
  • Lunch counter and snacks available care of Lunchalicious 
  • Tumblebums Toy and Play Centre providing play centre
  • Face painting & balloon animals with Par-T-Perfect 
  • Loot bags (1 per family for the first 100 families to arrive)
  • Door Prizes
  • INTERACTIVE Exhibitors
  • INFORMATIVE Speaker Line Up:
10:00 am "Canvas to the Imagination" Arts in Education 
10:45 am "Lea
rning Outside the Box" Home School Resources
11:30 am "You are what you Eat" Impact of Nutrition on Learning
12:30 pm "Oh the Thinks you Can Think!" READ Society 
1:15 pm "Bonjour!" French Immersion FAQs
2:00 pm "Confidence, Consideration, Compassion" An Introduction to the Family Virtues Project

 

The event promises to be both FUN and informative for the whole family! This year admission is by donation to The Cridge Family Respite and Respitality Service. 

 

 

POSTPONED – Four Great Voices – One Great Night!

The planning team for this event has made the difficult decision to postpone it until further notice. If you purchased tickets, please contact Shannon Whissell at (250) 995-6419 or by email at swhissell (at) cridge (dot) org

Victoria is blessed with a bevy of talented women, and few are more talented than the foursome of Maria Manna, Miranda Sage, Maureen Washington and Melinda Whitaker. These great ladies of jazz are all accomplished songstresses and recording artists in their own right and combined they create a night to remember.

The Cridge Centre for the Family is blessed to have them joining forces to raise the roof of Alix Goolden Hall– and support for The Cridge Respitality Service – on Friday, March 30, 2012. All proceeds from this high-class concert will support the families of The Cridge Respitality Service, now in its eleventh year of service to the community!

A very special guest for the evening will be Sky Mundell, the 2011 winner of Vancouver Island’s Got Talent, whose family benefitted from The Cridge Respitality Service. Sky was born with cerebral palsy, but despite being blind and hearing impaired, has become a champion jazz pianist. We’re honoured and excited that he’ll be part of the concert.

The Cridge Respitality Service makes a real difference for families. As one grateful mom recently wrote after experiencing a Respitality night,

“Checking in was like walking into a dream. Everything was beautiful, quiet and calm. For 24 hours, time stopped. We actually relaxed (and slept) for the first time in months. It was a magical interlude. Now our batteries are recharged enough to face the next set of 'adventures'.”

The divas in their gowns and gentleman musicians in their tuxes promise to make One Great Night a concert to remember, as they showcase some of the greatest ballads and standards of the last century. Jazz lovers and community supporters alike are promised a great night out!

This fun evening of music and celebration is a great value, as adult tickets are only $20 and tickets for seniors (65+) and youth (18 or younger) are just $15.

2nd annual look good : do good cut-a-thon

The second annual look good : do good cut-a-thon sponsored by headstart hair design will take place Sunday, March 4, 2012 from noon until 4 pm. 

This great event is sponsored by salon owners Chris & Garry Preston. Salon manager Megan, along with 8 other professional stylists, will provide great basic cuts for a minimum suggested donation of $15. With refreshments, door prizes, and an information table about The Cridge Respitality Service, the event is a fun, family-friendly time. 

Last year over $1,500 was raised at the event, and with more stylists this year promises to be an even bigger contribution to the families who rely on The Cridge Respitality Service. 

Details:

  • Sunday, March 4, 2012
  • Noon – 4:00 pm
  • headstart hair design – 1315 cook street
  • haircuts by donation (suggested minimum $15)

[flgallery id=9 /]

Brain Injury Series on CBC One

This week, All Points West on CBC Radio One in Victoria is featuring a series of conversations about brain injury. Interviewees include survivors of brain injury, doctors, family members, and professionals working in the field.

Janelle Breese Biagioni, community services coordinator for The Cridge Brain Injury Services, shares her experience of the impact brain injury has on families. Later in the week, Geoff Sing, manager of The Cridge Brain Injury Services will speak on the broader impact on society of brain injuries, and services and support for survivors.

You can listen to  the CBC One podcasts on the All Points West website. Each day's converstations are linked below.

  • Tuesday, January 10 – Conversation with a brain injury survivor (Starts at 6:55 of podcast)
  • Wednesday, January 11 – Dr. Paul Winston from the Neurorehab Clinic at Victoria General Hospital (Starts at beginning of podcast)
  • Thursday, January 12 – Janelle Breese Biagioni, community services coordinator for The Cridge Brain Injury Serivces, speaks about the impact of brain injury on families (Starts at 10:37 of podcast)
  • Friday, January 13 – Geoff Sing, Manager of The Cridge Brain Injury Services, speaks to Jo-Ann Roberts about the link between brain injury and homelessness, and supports in the community to break that link (Starts at 9:34 of the podcast)

How has brain injury impacted your life? 

A Christmas Message of Peace

 

This devotional opened our December management team meeting, and I thought it would make a great Christmas message for all of you. As we near the 'big' day, let's remember the true message of Christmas comes in a whisper. By the way, the original for this devotional was found at The Electronic Hymnal and appears here slightly modified from the original. 
 
A Christmas Devotional – Silent Night

 
It happens every Christmas. Hustling, bustling, shopping, traveling, cooking. Parties, banquets, Santa Claus, pageants, decorations, trees, lights, clothes. We get caught up in the season of Christmas, stressed about making arrangements to see and please everyone, pressured to balance an already busy schedule with unlimited amounts of additional activities, pushed to attend, give, join, gather and perform.
 
But it happens every Christmas. We are busily tending to our own flock, when out nowhere, the calm and peace and tranquility of Christmas comes. We are never prepared for it. We are always stunned. And amazed. And we experience the awe of the nativity, an event we never witnessed, but of which we somehow have mysterious first-hand knowledge. The Grinch did. Scrooge did. The shepherds did. Each year it happens to us as well.
 
Silent night, holy night,
all is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin
mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace.
 
It happens every Christmas, and it is frequently this hymn that catches us off guard – though it may be another one, Let There Be Peace On Earth, for example. We vividly see and experience the serene relief of a world with a newly-born savior.
 
Then we are transported to the nearby hillside, where shepherds busily tended their sheep, completely unaware that they had been chosen to receive the best news ever heard. We join them, trembling, no quaking, with fear. And above them, the sky is laid open with what can only be described as glory.
 
Glories stream from heaven afar,
heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born.
 
And this we can’t imagine or experience first-hand. Neither Bach nor Mozart ever composed music that remotely compared to the songs the angels sang that night. The total, absolute majesty that only heaven could produce, suitable for the greatest tidings from a glorious God to his lonely creation. We know it is unfathomable, and reserved only for the time when we enter his glory.
 
But we can see the glory in our Lord and Savior. He is our window, our path to our heavenly home. Even as a baby…
 
Son of God, love's pure light;
radiant beams from thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
 
Every year we experience it – in a baby’s peaceful sleep. In the lull of Christmas Eve with the lights on and the family in bed. In the quiet moments sitting with a client. It may be fleeting, but we all experience. The true gift of Christmas – awe, wrapped in peace, and laying in a manger.
 
 

United Way Grants $55,000 for Three Years to Cridge Centre Programs

 

     
 
 
 
The Cridge Centre for the Family
Media Release, December 19, 2011
 
The United Way Supports The Cridge Centre Services for Families in Need
 
Just in time for Christmas, the United Way of Greater Victoria announced two significant grants that, for the next three years will provide expanded support and service for clients of both The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program and The Cridge Respitality Service.  
 
The promise of $35,000 per year for three years is transformative for The Cridge Respitality Service, which for the past ten years has relied on the generosity of private donors and the support of the hospitality sector and other business partners. The core of Respitality is complimentary hotel stays for parents who need a break to restore themselves from the ongoing stress of raising a child with special needs. These stays are donated by accommodation partners here in Victoria, as well as in Vancouver, Parksville and the Comox valley. However, for families who are not able to leave their children overnight, we can also arrange ‘dining with Respitality’ or theatre, sports events, or other evenings out. 
 
One of the most important aspects of our service though, is our coordinator’s commitment to listen to families and meet their needs whatever is going on – sometimes that may mean a package of cupcakes delivered to a burnt-out mom at the pediatric ward of the hospital, or an hour on the phone listening to their worries. The Cridge Respitality Service provides respite, advocacy and support services for more than 425 families of children with special needs. Stable funding means that staff will now be able to focus on expanding services to clients on the waiting list, and investigate related services to support the challenges faced by families with children with special needs. 
 
The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program (YPOP) is a youth-centred program supporting young moms (ages 16 to 24 years) to create stable, safe, healthy lives for themselves and their children.  It previously received innovation funding from The United Way of Greater Victoria which allowed the Young Parent Outreach Worker to support an extra 10 clients throughout 2011. That funding was set to expire December 31, 2011 and the timely announcement of $20,000 for three years means further expansion to the program. 
 
The Cridge YPOP provides responsive support that is entirely client directed and is not restricted to young parents from any one school, childcare centre or agency. This is a different model of service to young parents than is offered by the supported daycare model. The generous funding from the United Way of Greater Victoria will allow us to extend this support to more parents, making a significant difference in the lives of young parents and their children. The ever-growing demand for support for young parents will be alleviated to some extent through this grant.
 
The Cridge Centre for the Family is grateful for their cooperative partnership with The United Way of Greater Victoria as both organizations work to support families and individuals in need across the region. 

 

Yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch

It's easy to forget sometimes, even as we work with clients who are moving from poverty and instability to independence who sometimes still need the support of our sister food ministries in the city, that hunger is a very real and present concern for many people in Victoria. The demand on the Mustard Seed Food Bank is up 10% this month, and other service providers are reporting a similar increased demand for meals and groceries. 

With this in mind, The Coalition to End Homelessness has created a list of available holiday meals over the Christmas month, as well as a list of places people in need can receive food (both groceries and meals) ongoingly. 

Please share these resources with people you know who may need the information. And please contact Shannon at (250) 995-6419 if you would like to hear more about how you can support Cridge clients in need of food, toiletries, and other necessities of life.