Women in Castlegar will soon have another resource available to help them navigate the ups and downs of life.
The Castlegar & District Community Services Society is opening a women’s centre on the top floor of its downtown facility at the end of January.
A women’s centre is something that CDCSS has been hoping to open for quite some time and a grant from the Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources has enabled the centre to finally take shape. “[A women’s centre] is something that has been continuously addressed for many years in our strategic plan,” said CDCSS executive director Kristein Johnson. “We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.” The funding will support the centre through March of 2018, by which point they will have to find a new funding source.
CDCSS has hired staff to operate the centre three days a week with a calendar of events. Johnson emphasized the centre is open to all women. “Our vision for the women’s centre is to be a safe place for women and children,” said Johnson. “We support women and children as they build safe and sustainable lives — sharing knowledge and expertise and encouraging others in our community to collaborate and participate.”
A couple of fourth year Selkirk College nursing students have been a big help getting the centre up and running by doing a leadership project on the women’s centre. “They interviewed clients, they interviewed a lot of women, they did a lot of research,” explained Johnson.
The centre is looking for volunteers to help with the delivery of programs, services or workshops that they would like to provide. During the interview process a list of desired resources was compiled including yoga, hairdressing, peer support, cooking support, a library, budgeting help, personal care education, self defense training and support with accessing income and housing support.
“We are looking forward to it, definitely we need people that have various skills — arts and crafts, photography, anything like that,” said Johnson. The centre plans to provide engaging, fun and educational activities.
If you are interested in volunteering or participating contact CDCSS at 250-365-2104.