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Celebrating a Decade of Partnership

posted by Scott Williams

The Astley Family Foundation has been a valued partner in the last decade, helping us to provide accessible mental health services and supports to youth in Waterloo Region.

From 2010-2014, the Foundation funded our Out in Schools project which allowed us to work in public schools, supporting the creation and sustainability of GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances). These student clubs are essential in helping LGBTQ2+ students find allies and we have found they have the power to make a school feel safer and more inviting to students. You can read more about this work here.

From 2015-2017, the AFF provided funding that allowed us to offer Walk In Counselling services to youth. This occurred both in our offices on Thursdays from 12-6pm, and a special pilot for students at Eastwood Collegiate Institute. Walk In Counselling services are especially transformational because they allow a person to receive service in their time of need rather than having to be placed on a waiting list. The immediacy of the service has helped many people in our community. You can read some of our research here.

In last month’s newsletter, we inadvertently omitted mentioning the Astley Family Foundation as one of the supporters of our Video Counselling Service. The AFF has generously provided a grant of $110,000 over 2018 and 2019 for us to provide online video counselling to youth. This is our latest innovation in accessibility -- making certain that travel to our office is not a barrier to service. Now, we are able to offer the same high-quality counselling service to youth for whom travel is difficult. We are also working to provide video counselling in some local schools and the grant includes $10,000 each year for research into this emerging modality.


Thank you very much to the Astley Family Foundation for a decade of partnership and for helping us work towards a community where no one is left behind!