Week 23 – Community Connections Centre

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The Centre’s comfy reception area.

{Updated on October 3, 2014: Note that the Community Connections Centre is moving!  Please visit the website or contact the CCC for more information}

Have you been curious about the Community Connections Centre since it opened this spring?  I have.  On my way home from buying a Panini press for my Mom’s birthday, I stopped in and met Beverly Illauq, the Executive Director of the Centre, and asked her what it’s all about.

“In a nutshell?” she laughed.  And I get why – Bev and her team cover a lot of bases.  “We keep people out of the vortex of medical and psychological intervention,” she says.  “It’s a place where people can come and develop health and wellness strategies and help others out too.”

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Two very popular residents.

A teacher by trade, Beverly lived, worked, and raised her family on Baffin Island for 20 years.  While there, she started the Ilisaqsivik Family Resource Centre at the urging of community elders who were worried about the area youth.  “They wanted to change the dynamics in the community,” says Bev.  “So we worked together to connect people and possibilities.”  Four years into their mandate, the Centre had a $1million annual budget and ran 40 programs covering topics as diverse as parenting, sewing, and eco-therapy.  “Everybody has something to give and everybody needs something,” says Bev.  “The Centre gave people purpose and a chance to share what they know.”

Bev and her children moved to the Kemptville area in 2002 to be closer to their extended family.  Once settled, Bev realized that it’s not only up north where community programming is sorely needed.  As family members are spread further apart, people need more support, especially in rural communities.  And so she got to work.

The Community Connections Centre is also known as Nik’s Place, named for Nik Wellstein, a community leader and businessman who died in a motorcycle accident in Australia in 2011.  The Centre opened in early 2014 and Bev and her team of dedicated volunteers continue to add programs and services to meet community needs.

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This rocking chair is covered in one of the Centres’ many hand-crocheted blankets.

One of the Centre’s most popular programs is the Arts Based Children (ABC) Sewing with Nokomis.  Boys and girls between the ages eight and 12 gather to learn how to sew from a local grandmother – for Mother’s Day they made heart shaped pin cushions.  This program covers a lot of bases and exemplifies what the Centre is all about: it teaches children new skills and fosters intergenerational learning.  “Seniors have so much to share,” says Bev.  “Hand skills, life skills, patience.  The Centre is a wonderful venue to pass on these skills and knowledge.”

As well as offering programming and free events (like Indigenous Peoples’ Awareness Week and Disney Karaoke), the CCC is also equipped to provide professional counselling and psychotherapy services, as well as screening for Irlen Syndrome, which Bev describes as a hypersensitivity to light that makes reading difficult, noting that it affects 15% of the population.

The CCC will reopen after summer holidays on Monday, July 21.  Why not pop in and see what they have to offer?

Community Connections Centre – Nik’s Place

113 Prescott St., Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0

613-258-5678

www.grenvillecss.org

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Niks-Place-Programs/229147837276810

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Interested in volunteering? The Centre would love to hear from you!!

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6 Responses to Week 23 – Community Connections Centre

  1. Reginald Smith says:

    An invitation to all locals: if you’re in the area, please drop by. Even if you’re just visiting North Grenville we’d love to see you.

    Thanks for this post Erica!
    – Reg (Care Taker, etc, etc, …..)

  2. S. Bertram says:

    What a great facility to have in our midst, very good luck to them.

  3. Bev Illauq says:

    Hi Erika! Thanks for a great, warm-hearted view of the “CCC” at Nik’s Place ! I love your photo shots and well-balanced, informative commentary! Bev Illauq, Director, GCSS/ CCC

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