Malvern Family Resource Centre
Our Impact Why We Exist
Over the past 33 years Malvern Family Resource Centre has been committed to strengthening families and individuals, through inclusive and effective programs and services for children, youth, women, seniors, residents and families in north-east Scarborough. Our agency works to support families and residents in the community to improve their daily lives through education, leadership, capacity building and other activities that support health and wellness in the community.
2015 was a banner year at the agency where we were able to increase our funding by 21 percent allowing us to strengthen our impact in the community through more programs and services. Our total attendance in all of our programs increased to 184,992 in 2015 from 168,122 in 2014. Our focus on improving the lives of children and youth in the community allowed us to serve 5.856 children through our programs. The agency is active in over 20 local schools in the Scarborough Rouge River riding ensuring that families can access our programs and services in their local neighbourhood.
Volunteers are incredibly important to supporting our agency to deliver quality programs and services. In 2015 we had 602 volunteers contribute 20,339 volunteer hours. Malvern Family Resource Centre also operates a number of leadership groups with everyone from youth to seniors, and through our Action for Neighbourhood Change initiative works in partnership with residents to tackle critical community issues.
Our Story What We Do
Malvern Family Resource Centre is a leader in the community delivering programs and services. Our Early Years team consistently serves the highest number of families in Scarborough. Our volunteers are annually awarded for their contributions (for example as annual recipients of the Scarborough Urban Heroes awards) for the leadership roles they plan under our stewardship. Our Tamil Seniors program recently celebrated 15 years highlighting the diversity of our clients and programs. Our Food Security table - which has been a great driver of local sustainability and food initiatives - recently celebrated their 5th anniversary. The agency was also identified to lead the City-funded transition plan related to Malvern’s emergence from NIA status which has a critical role in city-building and neighbourhood planning. Whether it’s our work with youth, such as our innovative re-purposed Skateboard & BMX Park (the first north of Hwy 401 in Scarborough), or our work establishing the first urban farm in Scarborough we are often profiled in the media and bring a positive light to the community.
Youth Leadership and Youth Development:
Through a youth engagement lens, our programming for youth is developed and delivered working alongside youth to act on the priorities that they identify as being important. Most recently our work with local youth has led us to look at issues such as police carding where local youth reported on their feeling about the issue and which resulted in an improved dialogue opening up between Malvern youth and Toronto Police Services. Youth in the community are able to access our local team of outreach workers who connect them to services, as well as our in-house youth and family counselor. Our programming whether recreation and health based, arts-based, focused on skills-building and leadership - understands the local assets that youth bring to the table and works to support them around a number of critical issues.
Access & Navigation:
Malvern Family Resource Centre acts as a one-stop hub for community members to access local services and be referred to additional supports in the City of Toronto. We recently established a suite of newcomer & settlement programs and services which assists community members in ensuring that they are accessing all of the supports that they need (from housing and employment to health and social programming). Our access and navigation supports are also extended to other priority populations including youth, women and seniors in the local community.
Recreation, Sport & Health:
Malvern is a diverse community, however our recreation programs and services have not kept up with this diversity in the local community. Malvern Family Resource Centre aims to deliver high quality recreation programming that is culturally relevant to the local populations living in the neighbourhood. We have supported cricket programming for youth as well as for young women, as well as more popular sports such as soccer, basketball, and now skateboard/BMX which has grown in local popularity among youth. Among our newcomers, adult and senior population we know that our area is challenged in terms of higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes. We cater to a diverse population that may not have the means to access traditional avenues for sports and recreation through daily physical recreation programming. We are also working with University of Toronto Scarborough to learn more about the barriers that marginalized communities face in accessing recreation programming.
The agency has a significant number of social programs that support community members to reduce their social isolation as well as find mutual support and integrate more easily in the community if they are new to the neighbourhood. The social programming creates opportunities for peer support, peer mentorship and improved mental health and wellness.
Community Engagement & Capacity Building:
Through our Action for Neighbourhood Change team we have been able to build a number of successful resident-led work groups on anything from community safety, to food issues, to recreation infrastructure, civic engagement and other topics. Our civic engagement work was a particular success over the past few years as we worked with local youth and a number of partners to deliver a youth-led get-out-the-vote campaign to combat persistently low voter turnout in the community. This work involves the building of leadership and other capacity building opportunities for residents which has led to more successful interventions in the local community driven by residents.
Early Learning and Building Blocks to Success:
Malvern Family Resource Centre works with children under 6 and parents/caregivers to ensure that children and families have the supports required to support the healthy and positive learning and development within the home. Parents and caregivers gain knowledge about the best strategies for working with their children, and children have a safe, fun and supportive environment in which to flourish. Our work with children does not stop at 6, but continues through our partnerships with local elementary schools. The agency continues to deliver programs that build academic and other skills throughout those critical elementary school years.
Arts, the Environment & City-Building:
The agency works hard to ensure that Malvern is a vibrant community in which there are opportunities for residents to engage in the arts. Recently we worked with local youth to complete the first mural in the riding on a bridge underpass. The training and leadership program in the arts supports a new generation of young artists to build their skills but also recognizes the importance of this type of city-building initiative in the local community. Our work also looks at how we can improve transporation infrastructure and create safe and accessible communities for all who live here. Over the past few years we have also transformed over 20,000 square feet of reclaimed green space into community gardens and teaching gardens which have brought together countless residents, but also galvanized the local community.
Our Programs How We Do It
Early Years Centre: Activities that strengthen the parenting skills and early learning and childhood development of children.
Middle Years Centre: Includes after-school recreation-based programming with an emphasis on homework support, health and nutrition. These after-school programs currently serve 12 schools within the area. Additional developmental activities for children take place during March Break and Summer Camp opportunities.
Youth Centre: Youth programming is organized to include programming and services that focus on counseling, arts, leadership development and skills-building, recreation and outreach/refrral support supports to at-risk youth. This team provides daily drop-in and registered programming to youth including academic supports.
Women's Place: Provides information and referral services to connect women with other programs, services, and supports across the City. In house programs include counseling, housing, legal services. Women's Place acts as a local hub for services contributed by community partners to ensure access to women in north-east Scarborough.
Seniors Centre: Provides seniors with social, receration and leadership development and programming. As a designated Elderly Persons Centre supports reducing elder abuse through an awareness and peer-led Speak Out campaign.
Resident Engagement: Our Action for Neighbourhood Change initiative leads resident engagement activities in the community through the stewardship and support to numerous resident work groups. Key areas of focus are food security, civic engagement, leadership and capacity building, education, sports/recreation, neighbourhood infrastructure, and youth issues.
Newcomer & Settlement: The agency delivers comprehensive case management, individual and family settlement plans, as well as providing culturally-specific programming and school-based programming. Newcomers are provided with information and referral services as well as connected with other supports that can assist in their integration into life in Canada.
Partnerships: Our agency has a number of key partnerships that support us to do our work with a collaborative lens. Our work with University of Toronto Scarborough provides us with an opportunity to dig deeper on many neighbourhood issues and develop unique partnerships with faculty and students that support community building. We also work closely with a number of other community partners such as On Track Career & Employment Services, Malvern Community Recreation Centre, and the Toronto Food Policy Council - to name a few.
What You Can Do
Urban Farm: Help bring the Malvern Urban Farm Project to life! You're invited to help bring our first crowdfunding effort, the Malvern Urban Farm Project, to life! Together, we can raise the $25,000 needed to make this project a reality. Across our community, many low-income individuals and families struggle to put healthy food on the table. Malvern Family Resource Centre will lead the development of this four-acre organic urban farm, which will provide culturally diverse produce, learning and engagement opportunities, and a vibrant, mixed-use public green space. As per the latest Vital Signs report, “Lack of income and an unsustainable food system deprive Torontonians of access to the safe, healthy and affordable food that is their basic right…” In addition, “If just 10% of the top 10 fruit and vegetable imports were grown locally, Ontario would see a roughly $250M increase in GDP and 3,400 new, full-time-equivalent jobs”. Make your donation today and support this exciting project.
Buy-a-Brick: Support our building campaign to ensure we cancontinue to provide low-cost and free programs for theneighbourhood.
Orchid Ball: Attend or sponsor our annual fundraising event to support Malvern Family Resource Centre’s core programs.
Adopt-a-Program: Create opportunities for community members by supporting high-impact programming that addresses the needs of the community.
Benefits of Donating:
- Public acknowledgment of contibution on printed materials,social media and news media
- Co-branding and logo usage opportunities
- Increased corporate visibility in the community (example:presence at community events, placement of logo on uniformsof sponsored sports programs, etc.)
- Opportunity to make connections with community membersand local businesses and clients
- Invitations to special events
Volunteer: Volunteers play an integral role in helping to provide social, recreational and educational programs and services that promote the well-being of the community. Volunteer opportunities are available in all of our departments: Early Years, Middle Years, Youth, Women, Seniors and ANC (Action for Neighbourhood Change).