Seasons Centre Empowering Diversity

Seasons Centre expands its reach and strengthens multicultural connections with funding from the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund and Barrie Community Foundation. At Seasons Centre for Grieving Children, we are thrilled to share the significant strides we’ve made in our mission to eliminate unintended barriers to accessing grief support for children and families from diverse communities. Thanks to a significant grant of $68,625 from the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund, in collaboration with the Barrie Community Foundation, Seasons Centre is poised to strengthen its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity, fostering more robust community connections.

“Providing these funds to Season’s Centre is an investment in our community and the mental health of our children.  The work done at the Centre has been transformative for grieving families for decades already, and we celebrate their continued work to engage a culturally diverse audience to support grieving and inclusivity.
Kathryn Whitehead, Board Chair, Barrie Community Foundation

In response to the dynamic challenges posed by the pandemic, we proactively pivoted to modernize our operations with the invaluable support of our funders. As community service organizations nationwide strive to facilitate recovery in their respective communities, the Community Services Recovery Fund plays a pivotal role in empowering charities like Seasons Centre to adapt and modernize operations, expanding support networks.

This transformative grant empowers us to address escalating demands for mental health services and confront systemic inequities head-on. It has enabled the hiring of a new Multicultural Engagement Coordinator, a pivotal role dedicated to reaching out to diverse communities, understanding their unique needs for grief support, and fostering inclusivity.

We are proud to introduce Joanna Vingoe, our dedicated Multicultural Engagement Coordinator, who has been instrumental since joining us in September 2023. Joanna has actively forged connections with culturally diverse communities in the Simcoe County region, employing a culturally humble approach. Her extensive research into various cultural perspectives and traditions surrounding death and grief underscores our commitment to inclusivity and enhances our organizational knowledge.

Joanna’s outreach extends to key community groups, including the Barrie Native Friendship Centre, YMCA Settlement, Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association (Barrie Chapter), ISKON Barrie (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), and many others. Her role focuses on community engagement, building trust, and ensuring Seasons Centre is a welcoming haven for all.

As we evolve our service delivery, we remain attuned to diverse grieving traditions and teachings within various cultures. With Joanna’s expertise, we aspire to dismantle systemic barriers that might hinder families from accessing our grief support services.

Recognizing the vital importance of diverse voices in our work, we are unwaveringly committed to expanding representation further. The journey toward inclusivity and support for diverse communities is ongoing, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude for the steadfast support from the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund and the Barrie Community Foundation

“It is exciting and energizing as Seasons Centre rediscovers its neighbourhoods, truly growing from the different perspectives so we can better serve the community in their grief.”

Rowley Ramey, Volunteer Managing Director, Seasons Centre for Grieving Children

Thank you for joining us on this transformative journey. Together, we create a more inclusive and supportive community for all those in need.

Connect with Joanna Vingoe about joining an upcoming event or to discuss this project contact: 705-721-5437 or email [email protected].


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