The Shuswap Family Resource and Referral Society will celebrate 30 years of community service this month at the new Shuswap Family Centre location on Oct. 17. (Shuswap Family Centre image)

Shuswap Family Resource and Referral Society celebrates 30 years in new digs

Shuswap Family Centre hosts party at new Marine Park Drive location in Salmon Arm

The Shuswap Family Resource and Referral Society has plenty to celebrate this month.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the organization will be celebrating its 30th year of providing programs and services to Salmon Arm and surrounding communities. And it will be doing so from its new Shuswap Family Centre building at 681 Marine Park Dr. NE, with live music, treats and more.

Shuswap Family Resource and Referral Society (SFRRS) executive director Patricia Thurston notes the celebration is not a grand opening, though SFRRS staff are excited about the move from their temporary location at the First United Church into the larger space that will better meet the growing needs of the society and the communities it serves.

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“The need for community services around mental health, food security – increased so rapidly, we also needed to expand services, which we are doing once we get over there,” explained Thurston, noting that in addition to the organization outgrowing their former Shuswap Family Resource Centre location on the Trans-Canada Highway, there were safety concerns at that location related to highway traffic.

“Our new location in the nice peaceful Marine Park area is just lovely with the park right there,” said Thurston. “We have 0.8 acres, we’re all on one floor, we have two tenants coming in from the Shuswap Children’s Association, a lot of new programming for our kitchen….One of my biggest goals is we’ll be able to put edibles as part of our landscaping.”

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Thurston said the Family Centre has 17 employees and offers 21 programs ranging from community counseling to grandparents raising grandchildren, adoption support, a pregnancy outreach program with two satellite offices in Sicamous and Enderby and multiple parenting programs and groups throughout the year to support education in that area. Thurston said one of her biggest and most exciting endeavours right now is bringing a the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) program to the community.

The program, she explains, will provide support for children ages six to 11.

“Actually, across the nation, we really don’t have programming for ages six to 11,” said Thurston. “We do really good for ages 0 to 5 and teenagers, but that intervention stage of six to 11… it’s to provide that intervention so we don’t need to provide those services when they hit adolescence”

The Shuswap Family Centre’s anniversary celebration runs from 4 to 7 p.m., and everyone is welcome to stop by.

For more information about the Shuswap Family Resource Centre, visit familyresource.bc.ca.


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