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2019 Fuel Good Day Recipients - CHMA Battlefords Branch

Community Need:

Our organization employs more than 40 persons living with mental health problems and illness in The Battlefords. Our vocational therapy program (TEP) provides participants the opportunity to connect with others, work as a team and support wellness for themselves and others. Employment opportunities include snow removal, flyer delivery, spring/fall yard cleanup, small moving jobs, housekeeping service, newspaper delivery, janitorial services and grounds and facilities maintenance at David Laird Campground. Safe and appropriate transportation plays an important role in the success of this program. Typically, our organization has used 15 passenger vans for vocational therapy but with this program's growth it became apparent these vehicles are ill equipped for heavy use. When the TEP crew is delivering flyers, for example, people are getting in and out up to 60 times each day. This heavy use has resulted in broken door hinges and caused rubber stripping to fall off. Areas of vinyl flooring have holes, bench seat springs have broken down and seat belt mechanisms have had to be replaced. Program participants have to crawl over one another at least part of each day and the benches are too small to accommodate larger people comfortably. Shovels, rakes and flyers take up seating space because our current vans have no storage space. This compromised the capacity of the program - participants often remain in the office for part of the day as there is less seating available. For the last two years, CMHA Battlefords Branch has focused on fundraising for the purchase of a mini bus that has the capacity to seat 15 participants comfortably, storage for flyers, shovels and rakes and provide a safer means of entering and exiting the vehicle.

Local Co-op Support:

Discovery Co-op has been a big supporter of our project. Proceeds from their Gas Bar's BBQ, an employee Christmas Party 50/50 draw and most recently 2019's Fuel Good Day gave us the final push we needed to reach our goal of $80,000! Our TEP participants were so happy to help out at the Gas Bars during Fuel Good Day and participating in the video made their day!
Our new `wheels' have arrived in Saskatoon and we expect delivery in the next few weeks. Vocational program participants are waiting with anticipation for their new bus and are grateful for Discovery Co-op and the Battlefords community for supporting them in the good work they do. Our organization can't wait to see how much this new vehicle improves our TEP crew's work experience - no more climbing over their work mates or dodging seat belts and no participant left behind. Heartfelt thanks from all of us at CMHA Battlefords Branch for Discovery Co-op's support of our project!

How You Can Help:

CMHA Battlefords Branch has launched two new initiatives - Independent Supported Housing and Recovery College. Our housing project addresses a gap in the transitional housing continuum - providing supported affordable housing for persons living with mental health problems and illness. Construction is soon to begin on an 8-unit complex that has incorporated a common space for group learning and social activities. This common space will also be the home base of The Battlefords' Recovery College where anyone living in our community can enroll in free courses that build resiliency and support recovery for those living with a mental health problem, illness or addiction. The Art of Friendship, Road to Recovery, Life after Addiction, A Good Night's Sleep, Food and Mood are just some examples of the free courses to be offered. We hope our community will help us in our fundraising to establish Recovery College - we will need help to offset costs associated with training, furnishings and equipment. For more information about our organization, programs, supports, volunteer opportunities and new initiatives please contact us at 306.446.7177.