Where We Began …
The REACH Centre Grey/Bruce started the way many grassroots initiatives begin: with a conversation around someone’s kitchen table. Three sets of parents explored their desire for something different for their adult children who experienced a variety of exceptionalities. Concepts like purposeful work, authentic
friendships, ongoing educational opportunities, a place to celebrate individual strengths … all became part of the vision. Fortunately, the parents had the passion, energy and openness to take action and turn the vision into reality!
Synchronicity was also a key part of the REACH Centre’s journey. While families were beginning to explore their dreams for their children, a local physiotherapist was noticing some large gaps in services for young adults with exceptionalities. Having worked alongside many of these adult children from childhood on, she was committed to helping others recognize this need so she joined forces with the group of parents. Then Georgian Shores United Church offered the use of its space, and a wave of momentum started to unfold.
In July 2014, a summer recreational program known as REP was initiated as a pilot project by this group. By the fall of 2014, the group had expanded to a board of directors and started to put in place a permanent program incorporating their hopes and vision. In 2017, we became an accredited charity and we continue to raise the bar of abilities for our REACH Centre participants.
Where We Are Today …
Currently we offer four full days of programs out of Georgian Shores United Church in Owen Sound. We serve over 25 young adults who experience a diversity of challenges and strengths. Participants travel from Southampton, Wiarton, Meaford, Thornbury, Chatsworth and beyond.
Participants help to co-create stimulating and varied programming, suited to their individual interests and motivations. On any given day, a great deal of laughter and joy can be heard echoing from our programs as we are collectively learning and expanding together. Please click on our Programs for more details.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
At the REACH Centre Grey Bruce, we have a team of dedicated staff and volunteers that are committed to the success of all of our participants. We have a collaborative approach to learning that is participant centric and focuses on skill aquisition to foster independence and self advocacy.
Mary Lou Strimas
REACH Centre Board Members:
- Mimi Williams
- Glenn Wilson, Vice Chair
- Karen Poste, Secretary
- David Marshall, Treasurer
- Gwen Nicol-MacDonald
- Pauline Dantas
- Carolyn Haswell
OUR CORE VALUES:
- We are passionate in our commitment to providing opportunities for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- We are respectful of the gifts that all people bring to the community
- We believe in creating a safe, engaging and inclusive environment
- We are committed to life-long learning, exploration and entrepreneurship
- We embrace innovation and drive change
- We build positive relationships and community spirit