She is the chair of the board of Parents Supporting Parents (PSP), which has been running a day camp for seven years. The program grew beyond expectations and they needed help to keep it operating. They were relieved when Rath-Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) agreed to take it over.
“We’re so excited,” said Weatherbey. “We’re so grateful that it’s going to continue.”
A group of parents of children with special needs formed PSP to prove there was a need in the community and start things, hoping a service provided would step forward and take over. When that didn’t happen the parents felt an obligation to continue to offer Bright Skies as long as possible. They did a lot of fundraising to keep things going.
“The kids do all kinds of things kids do at other camps, just at a higher supervision rate,” said Weatherbey. “They go swimming, to parks, visit the fire station, play with water balloons…. They’re really involved in the community and it’s so much fun for them.
“The children have a variety of special needs; many have autism. Some need one-on-one supervision while others are fine with one person supervising two or three. Some of these children need help at school but can be a helper kid at camp, and that makes them feel really good.”
Matt Moore, general manager at the RECC, said he’s pleased to have the opportunity to keep the program running.
“Parents supporting Parents has built quite legacy and we don’t want to change things other than to add to the facilities and activities,” he said. “It won’t just be contained to the RECC; we will take the children to places around town. The program seems like a perfect fit for the RECC.”
Between 22 and 26 children, aged 5-12, attend the day camps each year. Attending has helped them with skills such as speech, social interaction, concentration and behaviour.