Kathy Segriff knows firsthand how programs for children and youth can make a difference when facing a major medical or health issue.
Segriff, a Comox Valley mom, utilized Jeneece Place — a home away from home for families who travel to Victoria for their child’s medical care — when her son Nikko, 3, was in hospital.
“All of a sudden you have other families around you that are going through their own challenges and their own ways of coping and dealing. You have a different kind of support,” she explained Thursday.
Segriff serves as an example of the success for programs and facilities like Jeneece Place which are funded by the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.
The foundation announced last week it will distribute $2,254,253 in funding to programs which improve the health of children and youth on Vancouver Island.
Eight organizations from Comox, Courtenay, Cumberland and Campbell River received grants.
“The partners really make a difference in the kids lives,” said Linda Hughes, CHF president and chief executive officer. “The programs range from mental health and support, family support, therapy for kids with special needs and of course, Island Health programs across the Island.”
The funding will provide support to 38,547 children, she added.
In the Comox Valley, the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) and the Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society were among the organizations to receive funding.
Lorraine Aitken, executive director of CVCDA, explained the funds will go directly to purchase pediatric equipment for a new room in their facility.
“We are building a sensory room which requires very specialized equipment,” she added. “(It will provide) multiple opportunities to support children’s growth and development.
“The room will be used on a daily basis by The Autism Program, by our three pediatric therapy programs … and by children and parents who participate in other CVCDA programs and services.”
Since 1984, the foundation has invested more than $42 million in programs which benefit children with health challenges.
It has been in operation since 1922, when it was previously known as the Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children.
Local groups benefit
The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island distributed $2,254,253 to 41 organizations across the Island and Gulf Islands. In the Comox Valley and Campbell River, eight organizations received $98,288 of funding for their programming. The organizations are:
• Upper Island Women of Native Ancestry — $21, 976 — Funding to support the Delaware Youth Drop-In program
• Cumberland Community Schools Society — $2,440 — Mamacentric: support and education for mothers with infants
• Courtenay Recreational Association — $6,965 — Little Cruisers program for babies and their caregivers
• Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society — $18,572 — Therapeutic riding program for children and youth who suffer from complex health issues.
• Comox Valley Child Development Association — $15, 000 — Pediatric equipment for a new sensory room
• Campbell River Child Care Society — $2,915 — Hemlock Family Place: a drop-in for children and their caregivers
• Sunrise Resources for Early Child Development — $3,775 — Occupational therapy for Kindergarten Readiness Groups and Therapy Food School Groups for young children.
• The John Howard Society of North Island — $26,645 — Funding to support the Delaware Youth Drop-In program.