An inclusive community is a healthy community. Everyone is embraced, recognized for their value and included as a voice in making decisions that affect everyday life.
Recognizing the city must be accessible and inclusive for all, Trail council recently proclaimed June 6, Access Awareness Day. This year’s theme is “Accessibility is Working,” with a focus on working as a team to ensure the city is as accessible and as inclusive as possible.
The day is part of the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C.’s mandate to request local governments support the rights of all individuals to be active in their communities as well as having the opportunity to participate in all aspects of community life.
At the Community Inclusion Centre, on Bay Avenue in downtown Trail, the front door is open daily and provides a safe place for gatherings to break bread with friends, watch a movie, shoot a game of pool or pick up a paintbrush and craft.
The project began a year ago, and after a makeover and a recent paint job by Take a Hike students, the facility has grown into a hub of activity behind the store front’s retail space called Made by Hand.
“We are coming close to the end of renovations and we are running strong with groups in there everyday,” said Sheila Adcock from Career Development Services (CDS), the organization behind the inclusion project. “What we are looking for is volunteer staff to help keep us open,” she explained. “We are looking for help in the wood shop in East Trail, Made by Hand, as well as inviting the community to come in and work with our folks. We are breaking down stereotypes and getting people to know one another on a first name basis.”
She’s hoping retirees and others with a little extra time will sign up to help teach new skills for the retail section, like sewing, or fire up some wood saws to construct bird houses that are later painted by volunteers and sold in the space.
“We had a lady come in and volunteer to make sewing items,” explained Adcock. “We had six bags of blue jeans from our thrift store to repurpose. And we have wood donated that would normally go into the landfill, so we need some guys or women to come together to work with wood.”
All sales proceeds directly fund CDS’s ongoing services like the homeless program and other internal projects that aren’t government supported.
“These projects are not government funded but are very high on the needs of individuals we support,” Adcock said.
“But we can’t pay staff and keep the prices reasonable, so we are looking to bring in people from the community to support our folks in learning new things.”
Anyone interested is encouraged to visit the centre at 1468 Bay Ave or call CDS at 364.1104.