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Colchester Community Workshops Foundation launches fundraising drive for new extension


An expanded facility will allow more clients to be served – and help build a greener future for everyone else

TRURO, N.S. —

The Colchester Community Workshops Foundation launched a major fundraising drive for an expanded facility Saturday.

Organizers only need to raise another $400,000 or so to convert the former Halliday Place building on Arthur Street to a restaurant/shop complex including some extra multi-use space. Once ready, the new facility will free up space and allow the CCW to assist more clients with intellectual disabilities prepare for the workplace.

“It’s just sardines at the moment,” said fundraising co-chair Jol Hunter of the present situation. “In addition to the waiting list, there’s contracts being turned away.”

The total cost of the renovation project is $2.3 million. The CCW received $800,000 from the province and the Town of Truro, Municipality of the County of Colchester and the Rotary Club of Truro have also donated $100,000 each. Their total contribution was $1.1 million.

The new extension will be next door to the existing CCW building on 168 Arthur Street. It will help plug a growing demand for skills training among local adults with intellectual disabilities.

The CCW’s present building can serve up to 60 clients. With 85 currently signed up, the wait list is growing.

Hunter did not know why more people have developmental challenges, but disorders like autism are seemingly on the rise. Experts say better detection of this condition is one likely reason.

“There are just more adults with intellectual delays,” said fundraising co-chair Jol Hunter. “Additionally, there are adults who are living with ageing parents, who are less able to accommodate the needs of their children.”

Once the former Halliday building is renovated, the existing New to Used Store and adjoining café will be relocated there. The space freed up at the CCW’s existing  facility will be used to meet contract demands.

CCW’s clients produce ribbons and buttons, sell rags and other items from the New-To-You store. They also do mail-out contracts and recycle used goods.

In 2018, the CCW recycled and re-used nearly 230 tons of material that otherwise would have ended up in the dump. This includes scrap metal, old books and rags, making the CCW a more environmentally-friendly enterprise.

“It means the workshop is at the leading edge of one of the issues we face as a society,” said Jol Hunter, co-chair of the fundraising committee. “The campaign is an opportunity to build on that and do an even better job.”

A better job means clients ready to enter the workplace. One such person helped by the CWW was Nathan Legere, who now works as a cleaner at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

He simply described his current job as “good,” saying he enjoyed the chance to earn some money.

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