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 started to explore 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.

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

Jeffi Farquharson

Program Facilitator

Jeffi lived and worked in a l’Arche community for 10 years. Living there gave her the privilege of living with people with a wide range of gifts and abilities and being connected with similar communities all over the world. Her educational background is focused on exceptional development and developmental psychology.

Marnie Cox

Program Facilitator

Marnie Cox is a registered nurse and also a Certified Yoga Teacher with specialty in Therapeutic Movement for People with Sensory Processing Challenges. She is also an Instructor with Georgian College Health Dept and also a Bee Keeper. Marnie is passionate about equality, teaching, learning, fitness, and nature. She is honoured to be part of the REACH program and excited to join the team.

Ashleigh Slater

Program Facilitator

She has extensive experience supporting individuals with special needs both in the community and in the educational system. As an Educational Assistant, Ashleigh worked primarily in the secondary schools assisting students with their educational needs through a multidisciplinary approach. During her years of community support, Ashleigh provided Respite care within her home to several youth with exceptional challenges. She is excited for the opportunity and challenge of assisting to provide a dynamic and engaging program through the REACH Centre.

REACH Centre Board Members:

  • Chair:
    • Mimi Williams
  • Members:
    • Andrea Spencer
    • Karen Poste
    • Gwen Nicol-MacDonald
    • Ann Vos
    • Martin Clark
    • Glenn Wilson
    • Pauline Dantas

OUR CORE VALUES:

  • We are passionate in our commitment to providing opportunities for young adults with developmental disabilities.
  • We are respectful of the gifts that all people bring to the community
  • We create an environment where young adults with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to further their education through numeracy, literacy and life-skills activities
  • We provide opportunities for learning through entrepreneurship
  • We support families by providing a safe, creative and engaging place for young adults to socialize and work
  • We build positive relationships and community spirit by engaging with the community on a regular basis
  • We embrace innovation and drive change