Message from the Executive Director
Learn about us and the work we do
Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women has served the community for 23 years and we have achieved important accomplishments this year. With the launch of the art program from our satellite office in Vaughan, we have seniors, young people and women participating in variety of artistic activities. At Queen’s Park, the Ministry of the Attorney General awarded our organization with the Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction. MP Judy Sgro awarded us with the York West Centennial Citation Award for exceptional and ongoing contributions to the community.
For the second year in a row, we partnered with the City of Vaughan to celebrate International Women’s Day at Vaughan City Hall. Dr. Angela Melles was the keynote speaker who reminded the audience about the reality that many professional women face domestic violence. We reached out to the Gujarati community and published 52 stories about domestic violence in the Gujarat Express News. We also launched an outreach initiative into the Filipino community.
Our third Peacock Ball was a fundraising success. We established a program to assist immigrant and newcomer women who survived domestic violence in finding employment. We also forged relationships with two women’s shelters, including one serving aboriginal women, to provide support services during the job search.
Our staff did outstanding work in serving women, seniors and young people. We are ever so grateful to our volunteers, who helped us in the delivery of our programs and activities, by bringing new ideas and then helping us to plan and implement them. I want to sincerely thank the Board, the partners and the funders who have given their full support in helping us to achieve our goals. Without this amazing level of dedication and support, none of our successes would have been possible.
This has also been a busy year as the Board of Directors engaged in strategic planning and reflected on our organization’s mission, vision, values and objectives. Our new strategic plan will guide us as we continue to build our partnerships, fundraising and advocacy to develop a community of empowered women.
One of the Board priorities has been to solidify our governance and organizational policies and practices as we gear up for accreditation. We believe that accreditation will support the organization as we strive to continually improve the quality and efficiency of the programs and services we provide to the community.
We extend our sincere gratitude to the funders, partners, staff, board members and volunteers who have worked with us to improve the lives of women and their families and moving the mission of ehcw forward. We are proud to share our accomplishments with you and we look forward to the year ahead.
– Services accessible to diverse communities
-Addressing Domestic Violence
-Celebrating 20 Years of Service
-Building on Our Success
Services accessible to diverse communities
Services are dedicated to the settlement, integration, development and empowerment of the clients approaching the Centre. Under this project tools are provided for individuals to enable them to take charge of their own settlement and integration process and to effectively navigate Canadian systems. Additionally, the services under this project create opportunities for newcomers, immigrants and refugees to overcome their challenges by seeking the necessary help; develop their strengths by linking them to other service providers; create an environment that allows them to fully engage in their communities, socially, culturally, economically and to live a meaningful and enjoyable life in Canada.
Our staff is conversant in many languages such as Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi, Russian and Tagalog, as well as trained and well versed of standard practices of the settlement sector. In addition, ehcw is easily accessible for the people with physical disabilities as it is located on street level.
Addressing Domestic Violence
At the core of our service offerings is the Reduce Abuse program. In 2015 ehcw was awarded the Attorney General’s Victim Service Award of Distinction. In the same year, ehcw received the York West Centennial Citation Award for exceptional and ongoing contributions to the people and communities of York West. In 2011, the Centre received the Mayor’s Community Safety Award for its dedicated services in the community.
Since 2013, we resolved over 700 cases of domestic violence. Toronto Police 31 Division continues to provide consistent support in our efforts to reduce domestic violence. ehcw hosted a forum on February 15, 2013 called Reduce Abuse: The Change Begins. The event raised community awareness of ongoing domestic abuse among newcomer and immigrant communities. Women who have faced violence in their homes found the courage to speak out at the forum and call for change in the community. As a result, we published a book, Violence against Women: All Pervading, Link in January 2014.
We will continue to take a very active role in community education on the issue of violence against women.
RivInt Interpretation and Translation Services, Link our social enterprise, provides services in over 100 languages spoken by our 900 qualified interpreters and translators who are language tested and trained. RivInt was a selected supplier for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para PanAm Games.
Celebrating over 2 decades of Services:
The Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women was established on September 2, 1992, and named in honour of Elspeth Heyworth. Each year the Centre holds a fundraising gala with its signature event called The Peacock Ball. The event raises funds to support its programs and services in the community.
ehcw is quite familiar with the trials and the tribulations faced by the newcomers and immigrants and has a track record of providing essential support services by engaging clients in a range of diverse activities which contribute not only to smooth settlement process of our clients but to their emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, as well. ehcw recognizes the significance of providing culturally sensitive and specialized services for clients.
Building on Our Success
Our success has been made possible due to the commitment of our staff, volunteers, community partners and funders. Their cooperation and support is valued and has been much appreciated. After two decades, we look forward to continuing our success