Provincial grant for BGC Kawarthas goes toward new ‘sensory space’

By Lindsay Advocate

In late 2020, the Boys and Girls Club Kawarthas (BGC) learned that it was getting almost $65,000 from the Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). The Resilient Communities Fund grant program was designed to help non-profit groups to rebound and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The grant has helped the Club with a number of things, including the creation of a new sensory space for children.

“We know COVID-19 has dramatically impacted programs and services children and families rely on,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock in a media release. “This Ontario Trillium Foundation grant will help BGC Kawarthas provide their much-needed programs and services with increased health and safety equipment, personnel and outdoor equipment as well as a new sensory space for children.”

The grant has helped with the costs of installing and equipping the sensory space, known as a Snoezelen Room, and assisted with the costs for supplementary cleaning personnel to meet health and safety protocols. It’s also helping to rent a portable handwashing station for the children, purchasing new outdoors equipment, like snowshoes and poles, to provide more outdoor activities.

“These investments have gone directly to support children and youth in our community with one of the most exciting additions being a fully equipped Snoezelen Room – a sensory space which is calming, and which allows individual children time to reflect on their feelings and their behavior,” said Amy Terrill, executive director. “Children today are experiencing more anxiety and uneasiness than ever.  Add in an exceptionality and self regulation tends to be even more of an issue. Space limitations aggravate our ability to set these children up for success. The new Snoezelen Room offers a perfect solution.”

COVID-19 has introduced higher costs for health and safety, including supply costs (PPE and cleaning supplies) and staffing costs for cleaners, while also placing unusual restrictions on the use of space and pressure on equipment. Much of these constraints are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.  With the OTF grant, BGC will be able to adapt its year-round programs. For more information, call 705-324-4493 or visit the website

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