YWCA Regina Announcing that the 2020 AGM will be held online only

YWCA Regina AGM 2020 – Online Only

An updated message for our Partners and Community Members from YWCA Regina in addition to the response of March 13th regarding COVID-19.

March 17, 2020

Dear YWCA Friends:

YWCA McIntyre Building:  To limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19 to the vulnerable women and children whose home is within the McIntyre Building, we will be closing the building to the public Wednesday March 18th, 2020 until further notice.

YWCA Events: Until further notice, all YWCA events will be cancelled.  Please contact Megan McCormick, meganm@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

YWCA Childcare and Before & After School: As of March 18th, all childcare services will be operated from the Centre for Play and Development at 1855 2nd Avenue North.  This will ensure that we are protecting the women who live at 1940 McIntyre Street.  Following the requirement from the Government of Saskatchewan, we will be closing the Lumsden childcare and Before & After school location by March 20th, 2020.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Housing: Isabel Johnson, My Aunt’s Place, and Kikinaw Residence will remain open.  To limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19, Outreach will limit services to new clients from IJS and Map until further notice.

YWCA Children’s Housing: We will continue to provide housing and support for children and families and will take the necessary precautions as outlined by Public Health of Canada.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Randy Lundy, randyl@ywcaregina.com.

Community Programs:  All community programs will be cancelled until further notice and virtual support networks for participants will be created.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Donations and Volunteers:  Until further notice, YWCA Regina will no longer be able to accept donations or host volunteers.  Please contact Alexis Losie, alexisl@yecaregina.com if you have any questions.

We will continue to update our community via our social media platforms and website.  Thank you again for your continued support of YWCA Regina.

Sincerely,
Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen
CEO – YWCA Regina

Printable PDF Version of Covid-19 Update Letter of March 17, 2020

A letter from YWCA Regina CEO, Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen

March 13, 2020

Dear YWCA Friends:

Thank you for your ongoing support of YWCA Regina.  It is a privilege and honour to serve our communities, both here in Regina and across the province.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the ongoing health and well-being of children, families, participants, staff, and community members, the YWCA is enacting the following procedures, effective immediately:

  • If anyone in your household exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, please do not access YWCA services in person and call 811;
  • The YWCA will be enacting additional daily cleaning procedures of all high frequency contact areas;
  • Following recommendations for prevention procedures from Public Health of Canada;
  • Posting additional signage to encourage good hygiene and hand washing;
  • Cancelling all non-essential public outings and events for participants;
  • Regular staff who are feeling unwell will be permitted to remain home.

As we do always, YWCA Regina will continue to conform to all legislated precautions and best practices, including the Saskatchewan Childcare Act and Regulations, Saskatchewan Shelter Regulation as well as the provincial guidelines for Communicable Disease Prevention.

Childcare and Before & After School: At this time all services remain open and we will be following recommendations from the Ministry of Early Learning and Education moving forward.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Housing: For those who use our housing and shelter programs, please contact Cora Sellers, coras@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.  We will work with you to ensure:

  • You have sufficient supplies should you be required to stay in your room;
  • You have access to mental health and phone supports;
  • You have access to your medications.

We will continue to provide housing, shelter and housing support on a continual basis and ask that you advise us immediately if you are feeling unwell, have travelled, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

YWCA Children’s Housing: We will continue to provide housing and support for children and families and will take the necessary precautions as outlined by Public Health of Canada.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Randy Lundy, randyl@ywcaregina.com.

Community Programs: At this time, all programs remain open although modifications may be made to increase social distancing and prevent the likelihood of transmission.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Donations and Volunteers: YWCA Regina will advise all volunteers if/when we are unable to open.  Please let your staff contact know if you’re unable to attend any shifts.  At this time, YWCA Regina is accepting donations.

We will continue to update our community via our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website.

Thank you again for your continued support of YWCA Regina.

 

Sincerely,
Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen
CEO – YWCA Regina

Click here for a printable PDF version of this letter

We are launching an awareness campaign for YWCA Regina. Look for our billboards around town and listen for our ads on Regina’s Rock Station, 104.9 The Wolf and MY 92.1 Regina. We want to make sure that everyone in Regina and surrounding area knows that we are “Here for her” and you can help by sharing our social media posts. Since 1910, YWCA Regina has provided housing, supports and services for women. We want to continue to help women and their families meet their full potential and we encourage you to join us. Whether you would like to know more about our programs, are interested in volunteering, donating to our initiatives, attending an event, or becoming a YWCA Regina champion, we want to hear from you at 306-525-2141 or go to www.ywcaregina.com.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until December 10th, Human Rights Day.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an opportunity to unite with people and organizations around the world and reflect on what we can each do in our own communities to eliminate the disproportionate violence faced by women and girls. The 16 Days of Activism also includes Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6, in remembrance of the 14 young women who were brutally murdered at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal in a shocking act of gender-based violence thirty years ago.

We all have a role to play in preventing and addressing gender-based violence. In Canada between November 25 and December 10, join the conversation using the hashtag #OurActionsMatter and share how you will help end to prevent gender-based violence.

Grand Opening to take place on World Children’s Day, November 20th, of the new YWCA Regina Centre for Play and Development at 1855 Second Avenue North. The opening ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. with welcoming remarks by YWCA Regina CEO Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen. Refreshments and tours of the new childcare facility will be provided.

“We are incredibly excited to open the YWCA Regina Centre for Play and development. We know the Centre, that is home to two childcare centres, a before and after program, and will soon have evening and weekend programming for children and youth, will be a great addition to the community.”

Tara Molson, YWCA Regina Senior Director of Community Programs.

The YWCA Regina Centre for Play and Development offers 141 childcare spaces for children six weeks to six years of age. The Centre is divided into two areas named Deanna’s Den (90 spaces) and Sally’s Place (51 spaces) to honour Sally Elliott, Sally Mahood and Deanna Elias-Henry for their many contributions. Dr. Sally Mahood has practiced family medicine in Regina for forty years and has been a strong advocate for the needs of women and marginalized people in the health care system, and for changes in early childhood education. Sally Elliott is a Registered Nurse who has been delivering programs at the YMCA of Regina since 1991. Her responsibilities include the teaching of prenatal classes and leading postpartum support groups. Sally also provides tours of the Labour/Birth and Mother/Baby units at the Regina General Hospital. Deanna Elias-Henry was the YWCA Regina Executive Director from 1997 to 2015. In that time the organization approximately tripled in size. Prior to joining the YWCA, Deanna provided leadership to Regina’s Transition House for twelve years. These three ladies’ work on behalf of women and children will be recognized during the opening ceremonies with the unveiling of original artwork by local artist Harley Redman.

 “It is a pleasure to recognize the contributions of these incredible women. Each of them, in their own way, have dedicated their lives to empowering and supporting women and children in our community.”

YWCA Regina CEO Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen

November 20th was chosen as the date for the Centre’s grand opening in conjunction with United Nation’s Universal Children’s Day, also known as World Children’s Day. Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 by the United Nations General Assembly, marking the day which the assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Five years later on November 20th they adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well. The Convention, which is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty, sets out a number of children’s rights including the right to life, health, education, play, protection from violence, and to the right to have their views heard.

Click here to learn more about World Children’s Day

Since 1910 YWCA Regina has been supporting women and their families. YWCA Regina services include: childcare centres, shelters for women and children escaping violence and experiencing homelessness; summer camps, mentoring programs and in-school seminars to empower children and youth; a thrift store and the annual Women of Distinction Awards.

For media enquiries contact:
Donna Boyle
YWCA Regina Director of Communications
Phone: 306-525-2141 ext. 145
Email: donnab@ywcaregina.com

October 14-20, 2019

During the third week of October Canadians, and people around the world, mark YWCA’s Week Without Violence. More than 17,000 people in schools, workplaces, and organizations throughout Canada recognize this annual violence prevention initiative. Activities will focus on raising awareness, promoting attitude change and enabling individuals to begin positive actions towards ending violence in their communities.

Each year, YWCA member associations host events. For 2019 YWCA Regina will again host The Power of Being You, an empowerment-based, violence prevention conference for youth. This year’s The Power of Being You will be held on Tuesday, October 15th starting at 9:30 a.m. at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Up to 150 students from grade nine to twelve will attend. The subject matter for the discussion sessions includes “Cookies and Consent”, “Paving the Way for Safe Spaces” and “What’s the difference between you and me?”. The conference runs until 3:15 p.m. and includes a lunch at noon sponsored by Boston Pizza.

YWCA knows that not all violence is acknowledged or responded to equally. Violence against women remains a global concern despite much work being done. In Regina, reports of sexual assault offenses increased by eight per cent in 2018 and nine per cent between 2008 and 2018 – the only Regina crime statistic that increased over the past decade. Intimate partner violence is one of the main causes of homelessness for women and children. In 2018, YWCA Regina shelters (Isabel Johnson Shelter and My Aunt’s Place) housed 600 women and children. However, last year the YWCA was forced to turn away over 3300 women and children due to lack of space.

In addition to operating shelters, and helping women move away from situations of intimate partner violence, YWCA Regina provides safety planning and assistance in connecting women to permanent housing. YWCA also works to prevent gender-based violence from occurring by promoting a culture of consent. This includes educational workshops for boys, girls and gender non-conforming youth focused on healthy relationships and understanding consent including the 2019 The Power of Being You.

To learn more about YWCA Regina’s Power of Being You, please contact Alejandra Cabrera, YWCA Regina CEV Coordinator at 306-525-2141, ext. 117 or alejandrac@ywcaregina.com.

You can follow YWCA Regina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and if you follow the hashtags #WeekWithoutViolence2019 and #WWV19 on social media channels you will see updates from YWCAs across Canada and around the world as well. You can also visit www.worldywca.org and check out the International Week Without Violence Toolkit.

For media enquiries contact:
Donna Boyle
YWCA Regina Director of Communications
Phone: 306-525-2141 ext. 145
Email: donnab@ywcaregina.com

YWCA Regina Honours Groundbreakers in Celebration of Gender Equality Week – September 23 to 27, 2019

REGINA, SK – September 20, 2019 – for immediate release

September 23rd to 27th Canada will celebrate the second annual Gender Equality Week with the theme gender equality benefits everyone. The week is an opportunity for Canadians to recognize the progress we have made towards gender equality, while acknowledging the work that remains to ensure that all people can reach their full potential.

Bill C-309, the Gender Equality Week Act, received Royal Assent in June 2018, designating the fourth week in September as Gender Equality Week. One of the foremost aims of the week is to increase awareness of the significant contributions that Canadian women have made, and continue to make, to our country.

In that spirit, YWCA Regina will honour one female groundbreaker each day during Gender Equality Week on social media. The women chosen exhibit extraordinary accomplishments in a range of fields. We welcome everyone to check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts daily from the 23rd to 27th to see who will be honoured. We can say that Buffy Sainte-Marie will definitely be included. (How could we not?!) We will also invite comments and suggestions of other leaders to laud and encourage people to promote female trailblazers who they feel have contributed towards gender equality.

As well as providing examples of wonderful role models for women and girls, celebrating successful Canadian women can also remind decision makers that there are always capable women available when opportunities arise. And, promoting gender equality benefits everyone in many ways. In addition to it being the right thing to do – it’s also proven to be the smart thing to do. When women succeed in business our economy prospers. Gender equality also contributes to a higher quality of life for everyone. Involving women in the decision-making process creates better results. When women are not represented in leadership roles, we miss out on their ideas, talents and expertise. YWCA Regina believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential and when women do better, we all do better.

Since 1910 YWCA Regina has been supporting women and families in the realization of their full potential to the benefit of the entire community. We recognize that good things happen when we give voice to vulnerable women and children.

To learn more about YWCA Regina go to www.ywcaregina.com and to learn more about Gender Equality Week, you can visit the national website at:

https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/commemoration/gew-ses/about-apropos-en.html. To contribute to the conversation, use the hashtags #GenderEqualityWeek, #EveryoneBenefits and #YWCARegina.

For more YWCA Regina information:

Donna Boyle, Director of Communications, YWCA Regina
306-525-2141 ext.145 or donnab@ywcaregina.com

The YWCA held an information session on Wednesday night to gather feedback of the proposed $35 million dollar building in Regina’s Cathedral neighbourhood. The City of Regina also gave the parcel of land of Lucy Eley Park to the non-profit organization.

Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, the CEO of YWCA Regina says it’s important to get ideas from the community they will be serving.

Read more on CTVNews.ca

Regina – Today YWCA Regina’s Advocacy Committee is launching its third annual Sexual Assault Prevention Campaign, Blamé. 21 local establishments will serve customers beverages on Not Asking for It coasters and display informative posters for the public to view in conjunction with Saskatchewan’s Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

“When someone is raped, they carry the burden of their experience and the subsequent judgements of others with them for the rest of their life,” says Hillary Aitken, Senior Director of Housing at YWCA Regina. “The goal of this campaign is to shine on a light on the stigma attached to sexual assault–and ultimately eliminate sexual violence altogether–so that survivors and victims aren’t responsible for educating their community that what happened to them wasn’t their fault.”

In Regina, 2018 saw 38.6 per cent more sexual assaults reported to police than in 2017, meanwhile Saskatchewan’s rate of sexual assault is double the national average. It is worth noting that when someone is intoxicated, they cannot legally consent to sex and sex without consent is sexual assault.

“We need to shift the stigma of sexual assault so it falls on the attacker, not the person who has been assaulted”, says Chantelle Kraushaar, Victoria’s Tavern General Manager. “I believe that it’s everyone’s responsibility to get informed, to demand consent and respect for all people in their daily lives, and to take action together in building a more caring community.”

Staff at participating Regina businesses have access to information on the realities of sexual assault in our province and why victim-blaming is harmful, so that they can carry out informed discussions with customers. Customers are then asked to share photos of themselves with Blamé coasters on social media using the hashtags #NotAskingForIt and #YWCARegina along with what they have learned about sexual assault.

Participating establishments in Regina include O’Hanlons Irish Pub, Crave Kitchen & Wine Bar, Victoria’s Tavern, Leopold’s Tavern OG, Leopold’s Tavern North, Leopold’s Tavern East, Malty National, Cathedral Social Hall, Shannon’s Irish Pub, Bushwakker Brewpub, Rebellion, the Fat Badger, The Capitol, Lancaster Taphouse, The Cure, Bodega Tapas Bar, Has Beans, Beer Brothers, The Willow on Wascana, Lot Regina, and Tommy’s Speakeatery.