The summer days fly by and while it seems all is quiet with the world, over here at FAME the beehive has been buzzing!
I just wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what’s been going on in our end of the world and to also give a shout out to some of the staff for some very special new initiatives that have taken place and will continue to take place in the coming months.
First off, I’d like to thank and congratulate Anie Najarian for the partnership she facilitated with Toronto Public Health (TPH) in developing a two part workshop for Parents to help them help and support their kids dealing with stress and to reinforce the work that fameKids does with their little people. This is the very first time that FAME has ever offered a Parenting Support Workshop! How exciting is that!
The first of the two part Parenting workshop happened this week and we had a full capacity. TPH was great to work with, in not only helping to co-facilitate the workshop, but also to provide us with a space, at no cost, to hold this workshop in. This is a wonderful partnership for us to have developed with the City of Toronto and is a win win for absolutely everybody but most importantly the families we continue to support. We are now looking at this test pilot workshop and are hoping that we can take it out to Peel and work with their Public Health Department to possibly implement a similar model. Way to go Anie!
Next I’d like to congratulate Safra Farouque & Stephanie Kerr for developing a new partnership with the Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre. The DBNC has been a long standing organization in Peel, highly respected for their work with youth, marginalized communities and settlement neighbourhoods. FAME continues to align ourselves with organizations that have values, focus and direction in keeping with our own agency values. This partnership will be focused upon the needs of youth, which we all know are a highly under served population with respect to mental health issues & support. DBNC has several satellite sites and this can provide a really effective conduit for FAME to continue to develop youth support mechanisms. Bravo to these young ladies for opening the doors to the youth in Peel!
Our Educational Speakers Series has finally begun to take hold in Peel. A long standing tradition here in Etobicoke, it has always been our hope to mirror this service in Peel. Frank Logue spearheaded the first of two educational evenings earlier this year and it looks as though FAME will now build upon that success to continue to offer Peel families some ongoing educational support. Attendance at the first two evenings has been fantastic, as was the feedback in the evaluation sheets from our attendees. The Educational Series are a highly effective method of outreach and education to so many more families and caregivers. These evenings are a bridge in reaching the critical mass and significantly boost our numbers in the bottom line that are reflected in the quantitative data submitted to our LHIN, in addition to our all other funders. Thanks Frank!
FAME has been asked by CAMH if we would be willing to co-facilitate a 14 week project that involves workshops for parents & children that would run concurrently. So we are currently moving in to talk mode with CAMH to see what/how/if/when we can make this actually happen in partnership with them. This is pure concrete around our reputation as being an organization focused on family support, not to mention, we could more than likely come away with new learnings and insight on managing a much larger scale support program. Bravo! I will keep you posted on the status of these discussions.
It looks as though we are just weeks away from finally moving our Scarborough office into the Community Hub (similar model as the Community Door) and that will complete the last of the plans to have all of FAME’s satellite offices in “community” friendly settings. This is such a positive move, not just for the agency in raising its visibility, but also for the staff, who at times can feel very isolated in working in one man offices. It creates a much healthier workplace for everyone. I’m quite certain that Paul O’Donnell is very much looking forward to being in this workplace setting.
Big fat kudos to Anie & Safra for the effort of seaming up a very cool partnership for our fameKids and fameYouth with the Art Gallery of Ontario. A few weeks back we started out by doing a summer social with the AGO for the kids. I pressed a little about pushing the AGO for some waiving on costs etc. The AGO responded very positively. We then used social media to tweet out nuggets of praise for support and kindness to fameKids. The AGO engaged us very positively online. Shortly after that our FAME girls went down to the AGO to prep for the fameKids social and the giving just got all that better. So….we have a “friendship’ with the AGO, to the benefit of our kids….and the AGO has extended passes to parents who also want to join in the fun….. now we are working on shoring up our partnership for youth & art.
I am very pleased about the directions that we have quietly moved towards throughout the summer months. Without question these activities and actions clearly speaks to our strategic vision and can literally drop them each into the four areas that have been identified as strategic goals. We have much to proud of and know that there is much more to be gained for FAME and the families we serve.
Finally, I’d like to extend my thanks to all the staff & the board for their hard work & contributions as we continued to work on the Strategic Planning through the warm summer months, at a time when most agencies drop into quiet mode. At the end of the day the true benefactors of this work are the families that we serve.
All the best to everyone for a great weekend. No matter where you are, what you are doing, here’s hoping the sun will be shining on you.