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

Norma Stewart joins Langford council

Stew Young beats challenger Robert Fraser

Rob Martin is the new mayor of Colwood

Martin will be joined by four new faces on council

West Shore voters run to the polls in the final minutes

Approximately 4,500 votes cast in Colwood

Results are in for the District of Metchosin

Ranns to serve another term as Metchosin mayor with two new council members

Two new faces on the Sooke School Board

Bob Beckett and Allison Watson become SD62 trustees

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

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

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Most Read