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Monday, September 17, 2018, 01:51 pm

Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, delivers keynote address this Thursday at United Way's kick-off breakfast in Nanaimo.

The United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) 2018 Local Love campaign launches on Thursday, September 20 with a kick-off breakfast at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre at 7am.

Community members are invited to start their day with a delicious hot breakfast and a keynote address by the Honourable Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The breakfast event will also include a 50/50 draw and an engaging program with the opportunity to learn more about United Way and the local impact of donations.

"Some of the highest rates of poverty in the country are right here in B.C., and for decades United Way has played a significant role in helping people in need," says Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. "When people are struggling to afford the basics, it leaves us all poorer. That's why government and the non-profit sector are working together to find solutions and help people access the opportunities they need to be successful in life. Because we all benefit when everyone is included in our communities and our economy."

In his keynote speech, Minister Simpson will share what he heard at community consultations he hosted beginning last fall in 28 communities across the province, including Nanaimo. Those stories he heard about poverty are guiding the Ministry’s ideas about how to address the issue as he and his team develop the province’s first poverty reduction strategy. B.C. is the only province without a poverty reduction strategy Read the Ministry’s Poverty Reduction Strategy report here.

“‘Local love’ for United Way means tackling tough social issues by researching conditions, building coalitions that are more effective than one player or funder working alone and directing donor’s dollars to help some of our most vulnerable neighbours,” says Signy Madden, Executive Director, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island. “Join us at the kick off to meet with donors, effective community agencies doing vital work on the ground and to hear what we can do in the coming year to positively help thousands in our community.”

Thanks to generous donors who gave last year, UWCNVI is working with the City of Nanaimo on housing solutions for those living in Nanaimo’s tent city and beyond.

UWCNVI is providing leadership to several community-building efforts in the Central Island region this year:

  • Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition – homelessness count, community plan to end homelessness, Housing First program, cold weather shelter, supported housing program, tenancy support for women, and Indigenous housing programs
  • Nanaimo neighbourhood connection events – social connections where neighbours including seniors are at high risk of social isolation
  • Nanaimo children’s health fairs – free health screening for young children and other services
  • Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness – BC Housing-funded supportive housing project
  • Oceanside Health and Wellness Network – school breakfast program and mental health and wellness forum
  • Ladysmith Early Years Partnership – connect parents of young children with local services 

This year UWCNVI is funding 47 life-changing programs in the Central Island region that are helping improve more than 23,000 lives in our community, including vulnerable children, youth, their families, seniors, and individuals experiencing homelessness.

A few of the programs include:

  • A teen centre that gives youth the chance to develop positive friendships through youth conferences, sporting events, and cooking nights;
  • A seniors visiting program that combats loneliness and lack of freedom by providing weekly visits, phone calls, and outdoor activities;
  • A program that works to minimize the risk queer youth face in the community, and implement coping techniques to deal with issues negatively impacting LQBTQ+ adolescents.

Event tickets are $35 and available online on Event Brite at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/united-way-kick-off-breakfast-tickets-48222693374

A big thank you to our generous event sponsors: Investors Group, Ramsay Lampman Rhodes, Woodgrove Chrysler, 102.3 The Wave, Vancouver Island Conference Centre, and Central Drugs.

With a mission to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action, UWCNVI invests in strengthening people and communities in Central and Northern Vancouver Island.

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Media contact:
Jamie Moore, Communications Officer
United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island
communications@uwcnvi.ca 250.619.0151


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