It is my honour to be able to share this year-end summary for Lansdowne Children's Centre.
I write to recognize this past year of incredible accomplishments, and the progress made by thousands of children and youth, made possible by you...
Volunteers and Caregivers
Full and Part-time Staff
Supervisors, Managers and Directors
Our Centre's Board of Directors
The Foundation Board and Staff
Foundation Donors and Sponsors
All our Community Partners
and, our Executive Director
We are the village, the team, and the advocates, #ForTheKids at all levels.
Not surprisingly, there was engagement and contribution at all levels, and the results look like the Days of Christmas song, without the birds, pipers, or Lords-a-leaping. And by my calculations, I count at least ten gold rings.
In no particular order, please fa-la-la follow my list of ten shareable successes, highlighting some of the accomplishments of our organization and its members this past year, as seen from my desk...
1. Our diligent deliberations that created the new Strategic Plan from across work platforms, group discussions, and facilitated sessions outside of work. Presented as a long-term plan at the Annual General Meeting in June, we now have a fully operational implementation action document with measurable outcomes, focusing on the needs of our kids.
2. Successful and collaborative bargaining negotiations created a first time ever union environment. We are proud to be working with our union team, leading to individual growth and development.
3. Continued development of our communications processes and media presence, including growing our social media platforms and website content, resulting in visual recognition of our Lansdowne folks and families, and a celebration of the pride of purpose internally and throughout our diverse community.
4. The growth and outreach to our family clients through home visits, treatment and recreational centres in Haldimand, Norfolk, Brant, and Brantford. I was pleased to attend the new snazzy Lansdowne facility opening this year on Cedar Street in Simcoe, and witness the enthusiasm that swelled from that team.
A special note for our friends in Haldimand and Norfolk: Our Lansdowne board will be seeking candidates from this region in the near future. Learn more about becoming a board member on our website, click here, and please share the opportunity with friends and neighbours whom you think would add value to our team.
5. Our emphasis on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity has caught fire, in a good way. It is naturally incorporated in our Strategic Plan, and is part of team meetings and recruitment for both new employees and new Board members. That is a living commitment that grows and adjusts to reflect our communities and new arrivals. We see it in our reflection of cultural events and significant celebrations. I have it on good authority, (I know Santa, personally) that at our children's holiday event at least three families indicated their kids had never met Santa… ever… and were spell-bound.
6. We bid adieu to the several retirees, celebrating their great careers and contributions, while warmly welcoming new hires and all their potential. We strive to be the employer of choice, having been blessed with the committed and qualified staff that keep this empathy train chugging on. Through workspace limitations, COVID-19 challenges, and an expanding population with growing needs, we know there is a light at the end of that tunnel. I see it all the time when I visit the centre, how a child's small progress or smile can make someone's most challenging day bearable.
7. Succession planning is one of the keys to any corporation’s success at both the operational and governance level. The mutual respect and support between the two functions assures Lansdowne families reliant on our services of on-going and consistent benefits for their kids. Our board's recent governance education workshop provided assurance that our teamwork and planning are providing a strong foundation for this organization, that serves so many community members.
8. Our accrediation results were exemplary. The highest result of the Accreditation Canada survey is a testimony to the dedicated efforts of the Lansdowne team members. This objective measure of our best practices reported a score of 99.8%!!! The surveyors assessing Lansdowne were quite impressed at our high standards, a reputation we understand our community has come to expect, and promote. We were also celebrated for a balanced $15 million-dollar operational budget.
9. Our recognition of the First Nations Land Acknowledgement is part of every formal meeting and a gesture of our gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory we reside on. We don’t take the words lightly. We have been conscious of the Reconciliation Commission and Survivor Secretariat initiatives and work to understand the history that led us to this point in our relationship between nations.
10. We are poised for the next phase of our Capital Strategy toward the vision of a new Children's Treatment Centre. We thank everyone who helped with letters encouraging approval of our case for support. We were honoured to welcome Minister Michael Parsa, of Ontario's Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, to Lansdowne Brantford earlier this year. We are thankful to have the support of our MPP Will Bouma in advocating for Lansdowne families and our community. Once we hear our efforts are successful we will undertake the next steps of development planning, and fundraising through the Lansdowne Foundation. Fingers and toes crossed!
With ten short paragraphs I have tried to demonstrate the positivity of our year 2023. There are so many more community and family successes, and I hope each of you take the opportunity to share them with each other. When you share your Lansdowne story with others, in person and in social media, it helps others to feel more confident about asking for help, and believing in the potential of all children and youth.
Lansdowne Children's Centre can not accomplish great feats alone. We are thankful for everyone’s contributions and commitment, working together to realize optimal potential for infants, children and youth.
Thank you, one and all, and I look forward to an even more exciting 2024.
Have a safe and healthy new year,
Chair of the Board
President of the Corporation, Lansdowne Children’s Centre