Parent Robin Kiernan (left) is among the users of the website southislandchild.ca that Saanich Neighbourhood Place officially launched on Monday. Joanne Gordon, early years community engagement coordinator for the non-profit family service provider, says the site centralizes over 200 available resources for families across the region. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Saanich non-profit agency makes online connection with families

New website serves as resource hub for families across region

A non-profit organization that delivers a wide range of services to families in Saanich and beyond is expanding its footprint both in the digital and in the analog world.

The Victoria Early Years Centre, run out of the Saanich Neighbourhood Place in Saanich’s Pearkes Recreation Centre, has officially launched its new website, South IslandChild.ca.

Joanne Gordon, early years community engagement co-ordinator for Saanich Neighbourhood Place, said the site lists information about more than 200 centres, drop-in and support programs, and resources available to families between Port Renfrew and the [Saanich] Peninsula.

“This is a really exciting website because it is very hard for families to figure out where they can go for resources and information, especially if they live in different parts of the south Vancouver Island.”

Families who may live in Colwood and drop off their children in View Royal before heading to Downtown Victoria for work may not always know where they can find resources if they are travelling across so many different boundaries.

“Families’ lives do not really correspond to those,” she said. “It makes it hard for families to know where to even look, because they don’t even know that those boundaries for services exist.”

Service providers, she added, are also struggling to navigate those boundaries.

Users of the site can search for information by various sociological categories including age, marital status, sexual orientation, family status; specific topics such as child care, finances or legal help; or location. Users can save the information for future access or print it. The site also features an extensive calendar of events.

“Time and time again we see families struggling to find opportunities to connect with each other, find resources and access services,” said Colleen Hobson, executive director of Saanich Neighbourhood Place.

The site also continues to accept information from providers who offer services.

Work on the project began two years ago and following a soft launch, the site launched officially Monday with several parents, children, and representatives from service providers attending.

“Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Gordon. “I’ve had families take a test run, some whose kids [are now] school aged,” she said, noting that some parents were rather sad the site did not exist when their kids were younger.

Saanich Neighbourhood Place also confirmed Monday that it will open a satellite office in the historic Royal Oak Schoolhouse that previously hosted Crumsby’s Cupcake Cafe that closed earlier this year.

Corinne Bains, manager of children’s programs, have begun to move resources into the location, from where it will offer drop-in support. The non-profit agency plans to make a formal announcement in the fall.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria police seek witnesses after assault reported by man in wheelchair

Cops hope to speak with witnesses near Yates and Douglas on Jan. 13 between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m.

Olympic Gold medalist rower disppointed Saanich won’t host national training centre

Adam Kreek said also he respects decision by Rowing Canada Aviron

Victoria dancer shares concussion experience in a neuro-diverse performance

Stacey Horton’s Concussion explores living with and recovering from brain injury

Victoria teen with diabetes told ‘no food’ on B.C. Transit bus

B. C. Transit apologizes, saying it will look into food and drink policy

Saanich strikes standing committee to help create citizens’ assembly

Membership includes vocal amalgamation critic Coun. Judy Brownoff

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read