The Cridge Childcare children delight Governor General David Johnston

The pleasure on Governor General David Johnston's face as chidren from The Cridge Childcare Services demonstrated phycial literacy for him was more then clear. His Excellency beamed, clapped and high-fived the children who performed, clearly delighting in their energetic display of throwing skills. 

For the past several months, the children of The Cridge Childcare services from age 3-12 worked with instructors from the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence on age-appropriate basics of sport. Called the ABC's of Physical Literacy, the program is funded by The Victoria Foundation in response to a challenge from Governor General David Johnstone for community foundations to contribute to the creation of 'smart and caring' Canadians. 

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Caring for the Caregivers 2012

Parents' love for their child may never waiver but their stamina and abilities can. Raising a child with special needs presents ongoing physical, social, emotional and financial challenges that create a state of “chronic stress” and can leave family members feeling drained, discouraged, exhausted and isolated from their community. That's where The Cridge Respitality Service steps in. The Cridge Respitality Service provides a much needed relief for these parents who experience a much needed opportunity to refresh, restore, reconnect, and return to their children better able to continue their daily lives.

The Cridge Respitality Service provides a unique and innovative is a unique program through which hotels, resorts and bed-and-breakfasts in Victoria, Parksville and Vancouver provide a complimentary overnight stay for the parents or primary caregivers of a child with a disability while the child receives respite care at home.

A bountiful welcome basket greets the guests at their room, where they often find stay enhancements like a bottle of wine, meal vouchers, or spa treatment coupons. Parents have a chance to relax and restore themselves: sometimes the only break they get in a year.

When we tell people what The Cridge Respitality Service does, they generally understand that it has something to do with the parents of a child with special needs staying at a hotel and having a break for one night from the otherwise unrelenting task of caring for their child/children. In fact, this program could not exist without the accommodations and community partners who make a "Respitality break' so special. 

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!For just $97.23, you can support a family's participation in the program for a year. In addition to a respitality break, families also receive the pricesless gifts of encouragement, support, and the strength that comes from knowing their community is behind them.  (Click the Donate Now link, and select 'The Cridge Respitality' from the Fund/Designation drop-down). If you prefer to give over the phone, call Shannon Whissell at (250) 995-6419

The Cridge Respitality Service is fully funded by generous private donations, including support from The United Way of Greater Victoria.

The buskers are coming – AGAIN!

We are excited to once again be hosting  two international acts from the Victoria International Buskers' Festival.

Clients, society members, volunteers and community members are welcome to join us in the upper parking lot of The Cridge Village for two fun, family-friendly, and mind-twisting acts. 

Les Vitaminés
Wednesday July 25 @ 3:00 pm

Les Vitaminés are a pair of juggling acrobats who have made it their mission to dazzle people of all ages with their extraordinary abilities and burlesque-style staging. 

Mr. Spin
Friday July 27 @ 3:00 pm

Mr. Spin is a highly skilled, comic and vaudevillian-style street/circus act. He has a loveable, charismatic character that is a favourite with all audiences!

Come join the fun!

Camosun College and a partnership in caring

On June 12, 2012 Paula West-Patrick, Manager of Children's Services, and Shannon Whissell, Manager of Communications & Fund Development were honoured to attend Camosun College's presentation of awards to students in the Community, Family and Child Studies Department. The Cridge Centre for the Family, with 139 years of service to children in Greater Victoria, proudly sponsors three awards for students in the Early Learning and Care Program. 

The celebration was a reminded of how much The Cridge Centre gains from our partnereship with Camosun College, as students completing practicum placements at The Cridge Childcare Centre enrich the learning of both the children and the staff. The award winners for the 2011-2012 school year embody The Cridge Centre's focus on whole-child development, professionalism, caring, and going beyond the prescribed in service to children, families and other team members. 

The Cridge Centre for the Family – Ada Barner Award

Named for the long-serving and beloved matron of The BC Protestant Orphans' Home, this award goes to an Early Learning and Care Diploma graduate who has excelled in written, oral and practical work evidencing a comprehensive grasp of the nurturance of the whole child: spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially; and the understanding of the vital partnership with the family in encouraging a child to develop to their greatest potential.

This year's winner is Lee-Ann "Annie" Erickson. Annie's mentor said that from the moment she met Annie, it was apparent that she is passionate about children and families. Annie supported the family-centred philosophy of the centre and enriched it. Her narrations were delightful and insightful. Annie's instructor appreciate her ability to incorporate feedback and learning into her practice. Annie thourghfully planned for the children in her care, noticing individual children's strengths and delights. Annie, you are a credit to the field of Early Childhood. 

This years recipient, coincidentally, is currently blessing The Cridge Childcare Centre by completing her special needs practicum among the preschool children. 

The Cridge Centre for the Family – Regional Award

This award is presented to an Early Learning and Care Diploma program student who excelled in all outcomes of each practicum, demonstrating professionalism and excellent practice.

It was a pleasure to present the award to Nadely Wilkinson. Nadely's instructor noted that her skill in working with children was far beyond that of a second practicum student. She was competent, working seamlessly with child care staff taking on the role of a professional early childhood educator. Her mentor said that she demonstrated a high level of professionalism and dedication, and was always friendly, opan and approachable. Well done, and well deserved, Nadely. 

The Cridge Centre for the Family – Pursuit of Excellence Award

The recipient of this award has shown a commitment to professional excellence. During their first year this student will have practically demonstrated a knowledge of professional behaviour and exhibited intuitive respect for children.

Although she was unable to attend the ceremony, we are pleased the award went to Aracelli Orozco Morales. Araceli has completed the first year of her ELD diploma program. At the end of the first year, her instructor said that it was a pleasure to have Aracelli as a practicum student. She excelled in both practica, easily assuming the role of a professional educator. The mentors for both of her practicum placements appreciated her competent and sensitive manner while working with the children and their families. Araceli, you bring many gifts to the profession. 

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All photos are copyright of Camosun College, and are used with their generous permission. All photos from the event are available on the Camosun College Flickr stream. 

Dance, Make Merry, and Send a Family to Camp Pringle

The Cridge Dovetail Services

The Cridge Supportive Transitional Housing/Dovetail Services is excited to be have been selected for a local fundraiser that's focused on celebrating family fun. The goal of the evening is to raise enough funds to send a family (or families) who couldn't otherwise afford it to Camp Pringle this summer. 

Camp Pringle, located on beautiful Shawnigan Lake, has an incredible array of fun activities for campers, from rock climbing to water sports to the arts. Programmin includes kids camps from ages 8 to 15 as well as family and parent & child camps. 

For many families in The Cridge Supportive Transitional Housing, activities like attending family camp together are simply beyond the means of the budget. By attending this fun evening with your own family, you will contribute to a family's opportunity to play, laugh, and build great memories together. 

“Joie de vivre” family dance and fun night fundraiser!

Join us for an evening of dancing and fun activities for all ages!

Pizza, hot dogs, FUN non-alcoholic drinks and baked goods for sale!
 
Where: Strawberry Vale Community Hall, 11 high street at burnside
When: June 30th 2012, 6 – 11 pm
Tickets: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids, $30.00 for families 
 
Kids 3 and under free
 
Tickets are limited! For more information call: Helene @ 250-213-6550 or  Stephanie @ 250-686-8844
 
Click here to view, download or print the event poster

*Our sincere thanks to the event organisers, and to Camp Pringle for their support of this opportunity for our client families. 

Society Member’s Breakfast 2012

The Cridge Centre for the Family, like all non-profits and charities in Canada, is truly owned and answers to a committed volunteer body, the society members. In the case of The Cridge Centre, society members provide support in many ways, including expert advice, volunteer activities, and prayerful support. High on the list of member benefits, and one of the ways we annually try to thank these committed guides is with the Society Member's Breakfast. 

Planning start early in the year to ensure that as many board members and management staff are on hand to thank as many society members as possible. It would be impossible to over-state how important our society members are to the ongoing growth and service of The Cridge Centre. The breakfast is an opportunity to connect, to inform and always to thank.

The morning of, Chef Nik and his team roll out of bed early to prepare a delicious breakfast – this year the choices were between a tasty spanich omelette and a healthy fruit and yogourt parfait. An opening grace, an opening welcome, conversation over the meal, and a special presentation about one of the programs is always part of the morning. This year, Nicole Andrews of The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program shared the microphone with both a current and a past client to give a sense of the difference that program is making for young moms in the community. 

The members of the society are the spine in the body of The Cridge Centre. Christians interested in finding out more about this opportunity to contribute to The Cridge Centre should contact Pat Bailey by phone at (250) 995-6410 or by email at pbailey@cridge.org.

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The Gift of Love from Adore’s Dream Women

The Cridge Dovetail Services

What’s a manicure worth? What about a haircut? Time for yourself? Now – what price would you put on an evening of pampering, complete with professional hair, make-up and nail treatments and a decadent dessert tea, all while your children are safely cared for nearby.

For the women of The Cridge Dovetail Services, that priceless evening was provided this week by the Dream Women at Adore Victoria, a congregation that meets at Glad Tidings church whose purpose is to love God, build community, serve the church and send prepared disciples. This was the second evening of pampering that the Dream Women, “A network of women of all ages who dream for their God, their church and their city,” have provided for Dovetail clients, and the gift of time, attention and fellowship is one that is hard to translate.

For many of us, getting a haircut is as routine as paying the electricity bill, but for some of our clients struggling with poverty, getting a haircut never quite gets to the top of the budget. For other clients recovering from abusive relationships that kept them isolated, an evening in a safe place with a group of friends old and new relaxing, connecting, chatting, and just being themselves is a gift beyond measure.

Marlene Letendre, the Dovetail staff person who attended the evening, said , “it’s hard to put into words what this evening means for the women. You can see them transform as they move from the manicure station to getting their hair and makeup done. It’s not just the outside changing. Some of the women said they couldn’t remember the last time someone paid so much kind attention to them.”

The first evening the Dream Women hosted Dovetail clients was in November 2011, and the clients continued to remark on what a special evening it was for more than a month afterwards. In their gracious generosity, their giving spirits and loving actions, the Dream Women of Adore truly embody the admonition of John “My little children, let us not love win word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

 

What’s in a Week?

Shakespeare asked us "what's in a name?", but this week there was so much going on, that one has to wonder 'what's in a week?" In many ways, a week is a week – it has 7 days. Many of us spend 5 of those days working. We try to fit in some rest and some worship on the remaining days (I'm not going to take the time to contemplate how backwards that may be).

And then every once in a while, the various levels of government proclaim a week to focus on something in particular. It's usually a reflection of that government's values, which tells us a lot about the many weeks that happened this week and the jurisdictions they happened in. 

1. Prevention of Violence Against Women Week, BC & the District of Saanich.

I wrote yesterday about Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard's proclamation of Prevention of Violence Against Women Week, and that it occurs within a 15 year standing mandate of the province. To continue to promote this conversation is essential, as violence against women continues to plague our communities. The unsolved murder of Lindsay Buziak. The missing women's inquiry in Vancouver. The network of Transition Houses across the province – including The Cridge Transition House for Women – who work together to ensure that women and children find the safest possible homes.

We've come a long way, baby … but not far enough. This conversation can't end until every woman and child is safe in their homes. 

2.  Volunteer Appreciation Week, Canada

Across Canada, celebrations were held this week for the 13.3 million Canadians who give of their time and talents to support the good work of our many charities and non-profits. Fromthe art to the environment to social services, charities rely on the giving spritis and strong bodies of volunteers. Here at The Cridge Centre, the convergence of Prevention of Violence Against Women Week was noted in a 'Thank-You Cheesecake Tea" for the volunteers at The Cridge Transition House for Women.

What stood out in conversations with the volunteers was that while they are clearly devoted to the difference they make with the women and children at the house – two volunteers were recognized for their more than a decade of service each – they also contribute to many other worthy causes in town. These women give, repeatedly and faithfully, in ways that matter to them and make a lasting difference for those they serve. Thank you, even accompanied by cheesecake, doesn't feel like enough. 

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3. Gift Planning Week, Victoria 

In recognition of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners national conference taking place this week in Victoria, Mayor Dean Fortin declared this 'Gift Planning Week' in the capital city. it's a great reminder to let each of you know that if you would like more information about planned giving, or have already planned a future gift to The Cridge Centre, we're happy to talk with you about that.

You can get more information on the 'giving' page of our website or simply contact Shannon Whissell at (250) 995-6419 or via email at swhissell (at) cridge (dot) org

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."