What a difference one week can make.
Colchester Sexual Assault Centre went from worrying over the possible closure of the centre to breathing a sigh of relief.
“Department of Community Services called and said we would receive a one-time grant to help us through 2018-2019,” said Kendra MacKinnon, executive director and community coordinator at the centre. “That means we can keep on doing what we’re doing.”
The centre receives $43,000 per year for education, prevention and awareness. For the past two years it had also received $125,000 through Sexual Violence Strategy funding, but that source was coming to an end this spring.
Department of Community Services informed the CSAC it would get $170,000, as well as the $43,000, to continue providing services to people of all genders who’ve experienced sexual abuse.
“To get funds in the future we’ll be able to go through an assessment to make sure our counselling meets standards,” said MacKinnon. “I’ll be sitting down with John Butts, our treasurer, to nail down a budget.”
The CSAC currently has three staff members, who work part time. Margaret Mauger has been the trauma therapist at the centre for many years, and an extra therapist had been hired to work three days per week, thanks to the Sexual Violence Strategy funding.
“Getting the news about this new funding has certainly relieved some stress and pressure,” added MacKinnon. “We’re super excited and we hope to get out in the community and reach more people.”