›› Kathryn Juricic

Teams of Garth Homer Society clients are helping Fernwood Community ­Centre ­programs run smoothly nearly every day of the week. Volunteer teams come to clean all the toys for our ­Daycares and ­Family Resource ­Programming. Other teams help us take out the recycling and set-up the tables for our Family Dinner.

We’ve had two other teams come through our front doors with proud smiles, handing over cheques with donations towards The Gift of Good Food ­Holiday Fundraiser, which supports families in need with fresh produce.
The teams that volunteer at the ­Centre are amazing and a backbone for running of the Fernwood Community Centre. After all the support Fernwood NRG has been receiving from Garth Homer Society, we became very intrigued and wanted to learn more about the ­work they do.

Amber Woodworth, Discovery Team ­Coordinator—one of the teams who donated over $600 to The Gift of Good Food—explained how there are nine ­programs within their organization, that each do a little bit of everything. The Garth Homer Society provides day services for adults with developmental disabilities that fit the needs and desires of clients, from geriatrics, volunteer work, recreation, to music and arts programs; with the idea that not everyone will fit into a mold.

The Discovery Team is collecting ­recycling from different places all over town. They have built relationships with different local businesses, which is a part of the motive and intention behind many of the projects they do, ensuring to ­connect with the community. For the Discovery Team, social and communication skills are a key focus. Woodworth explained how, “staff work with clients on a variety of structured activities to support social interactions and personal relationships.”

The other Garth Homer team who donated to The Gift of Good Food, the STARR Team, did so through ­growing ­produce and selling it! A full circle ­program, these folks understand that their hard work is benefitting families in the communities that they work in.

Woodworth expressed how the clients just really love doing what they do: “It ­provides them with a sense of purpose. It’s a job that someone really wants them to do and it benefits them. They have a sense of pride to be able to do that.” Just like you and I, these relationships lay the g­roundwork for wellbeing in our ­community and our lives.

Amber and the staff at Garth Homer focus on community inclusion for their clients to have a genuine place in the world. For more information about Garth Homer Society and their Programs, please visit garthhomersociety.org/services/­programs-glance.