Funding provides great improvements and increased programs for community
Oliver Langdon, minister responsible for housing and Joan Marie Aylward, MHA, St. John’s Centre and NLHC representatives were on hand today to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the expansion. Frank Galgay, Councillor, City of St. John’s, Tony Janes, Chairperson of the Board of Directors-Buckmasters Circle and Centre Director Jim Crockwell also joined in the celebrations.
“The dedication and hard work of the staff and volunteers at the Buckmaster’s Circle Community Centre is evident in the community and on the smiling faces of the children here today,” said Minister Langdon. “Community centres and the programs they offer provide opportunities to residents that enable them to develop career skills and take part in activities that build self-esteem and awareness. These characteristics play an important role in the continued development and sustainability of any community. This type of empowerment at work on a daily basis, in a community that works together, virtually makes the possibility of their achievements limitless.”
Joan Marie Aylward, MHA, St. John’s Centre added, "I’ve worked with the people of this community to make this extension become a reality. Their pride for and commitment to their community is evident,” said Minister Aylward. “The people of Buckmaster’s Circle are to be commended for the improvements they have made in their community over the years.”
Since its establishment in 1993, one of the motivating forces behind the centre has been the staff, volunteers and board of directors. With their help, now more than 20 programs and services are offered by the centre. Some of these include, an Adult Learners’ Program, a Breakfast Program, Parents’ and Tots’ Program, 50 Plus Program and a Healthy Baby Club, to name a few.
The new renovations and increased space will now provide areas for a modern pre-school, and appropriate space for the Parents’ and Tots’ Program, as well as, a public access computer room and new public health clinic. The expansion also makes the centre more accessible for people with disabilities, and is capable of hosting larger community events such as learning workshops, community forums and social events.
The enhanced space and improvements will assist the centre in achieving its mandate and strengthen its underlying philosophy. The Buckmaster’s Circle Community Centre firmly believes that residents need to be engaged in their community in order to feel a sense of ownership and act as true advocates for change.
Funding of $150,000 was cost-shared on 75/25 basis from the federal and provincial government through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and NLHC. In addition, NLHC supports the centre through the provision of grant funding to support community centre staff.
“We’ve been able to accomplish so much more than we ever thought possible in the beginning, particularly with the tremendous support we’ve received, from our MHA, Joan Marie Aylward, and all the people participating and helping out at the centre,” said Jim Crockwell, Executive Director, BMCC. “It is this type of enthusiasm and drive to succeed that we’ve been striving to develop in this community. With the improvements to the centre we can continue well into the future setting new goals and building on our strengths in the community.”
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