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AGM 2022

Join us for our virtual Annual General Meeting on Thursday, September 22, 2022 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. We’ll tell you all about how we’ve changed and grown this year, and share exciting updates.

Special guest speaker Denise Davy is a nationally recognized award-winning journalist and author of ‘Her Name Was Margaret – Life and Death on the Streets’. Denise worked at the Hamilton Spectator for 26 years where she won numerous awards, including a National Newspaper Award. She was twice named Journalist of the Year by the Ontario Newspaper Association. She is also the recipient of for national journalism fellowships. Denise’s book explores the tragic life of a homeless woman and exposes the flawed plan that led to today’s homelessness epidemic.

To register and receive the Zoom Link, our Annual Report and a detailed agenda, please click here.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of Willowbridge Community Services, make a donation of any amount here. That way, you’ll be able to vote at our annual general meetings and will be kept informed throughout the year!

Financial Empowerment Services Program Closure

It is with heavy hearts we inform you that Willowbridge’s Financial Empowerment Program will be closing effective December 31, 2021. Our Board of Directors conducted a comprehensive review and evaluated the loss of funding to the program we have experienced over many years. After much thoughtful consideration, the Board of Directors passed a motion to close the program, meaning Willowbridge will no longer provide financial guidance, administer the Low Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), or the Ontario Energy Support Program (OESP).

Credit Counselling (as it was originally called) was first offered at Willowbridge (Family Counselling Centre of Brant) over 40 years ago. It was designed to support individuals and families to acquire the skills necessary for financial stability to alleviate the stress of over-indebtedness and promote emotional well-being. Services were provided by a licensed Credit Counsellor and Accredited by Credit Counselling Canada and included offerings such as Money Management Education, funded by Brant United Way; “Mind Your Own Budget” funded by the City of Brantford; Debt Repayment Programs funded by the client’s creditor(s); and more.

Over the past 5 years there has been a gradual erosion of funding in all dimensions of the Financial Empowerment Program, including the aforementioned services, and most recently the discontinuation of United Way funding beginning this fiscal year (2021/2022) as a result of changes in United Way’s investment and business model.

Please know that we do not take these decisions lightly, and we are deeply saddened that we will no longer be able to offer this important service to the community. While we regret that these services are no longer available at Willowbridge, we do want you to be aware of other community supports that are available to assist you:

Program Contact Description
LEAP– Brant Power 519-751-3522 Brant Power Brant Power will direct you to an agency that is administering the LEAP program
LEAP– Energy Plus 519-621-3530 Energy Plus will direct you to an agency that is administering the LEAP program
LEAP– Hydro One 1-855-487-5327 United Way of Greater Simcoe administers the LEAP program for Hydro customers
LEAP– Gas Enbridge
(formally Union Gas)
1-855-487-5327 Enbridge will direct you to an agency that is administering the LEAP program
OESP– Ontario Energy Support Program 1-855-831-8151 The Ontario Energy Board will direct you to an agency for support
Utilities and Rent Resources– Salvation Army Housing Stability (formally the BBHPA program) 519-802-4332 Salvation Army may be able to provide resources and support
Information regarding our former Debt Management Program 1-800-267-2272 Credit Canada will be able to support you.
Budgeting– Brant Skills Centre may provide groups to the community 519-758-1664 Brant Skills Centre may have groups/programs available to assist with Budgeting skills

While we are saddened by the loss of the Financial Empowerment program and any inconvenience this may cause, we would like to extend our sincerest thank you for using services at Willowbridge. Stay safe and have a wonderful holiday season.

AGM 2021

You’re Invited to Our 107th Annual General Meeting!

Join us for our virtual Annual General Meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. We’ll tell you all about how we’ve changed and grown this year, and share exciting updates on our “Service Re-Imagined” design project with special guest speaker Janeen Halliwell!

To register and receive the Zoom Link, our Annual Report and a detailed agenda, please click here.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of Willowbridge Community Services, make a donation of any amount here. That way, you’ll be able to vote at our annual general meetings and will be kept informed throughout the year!

External Job Opportunity – Ontario Health Team

The Ontario Health Team is hiring for a communications position. This is NOT a position with Willowbridge, however, it is an excellent opportunity for someone seeking a communications role.

Working together so people across Brantford Brant are able to get the information, support and access to services that they need to live healthy lives for as long as possible.

The Brantford Brant Ontario Health Team (BBOHT) was approved by the Ministry of Health on October 16, 2020. There are currently 14 signatory agencies spanning the health care and community service continuum in Brantford and Brant County. The BBOHT’s strategy is grounded in population health with the aim to improve health outcomes and patient experience for the priority focus areas of addictions and mental health, dementia care and homelessness in Year 1. Additionally, the OHT is embarking on a digital health strategy to facilitate care coordination and information transfer. A strong connection and partnerships with the Indigenous population at the Six Nations of the Grand River, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the urban Indigenous population is foundational work of the BBOHT.

The Grand River Community Health Centre is the host organization for the Communications Coordinator for the Brantford Brant Ontario Health Team.

POSITION: Communications Coordinator
STATUS: Temporary, Full Time (until June 30, 2022)
EMPLOYER: Grand River Community Health Centre
SITE: Currently virtual, some travel to partner locations may be required.
SALARY RANGE: $55,595 to $66,378 (annual, commensurate with experience)

Position Summary

Reporting to the OHT Director, the Communications Coordinator will be part of the OHT Secretariat and support a variety of communications and engagement activities for the BBOHT. The ideal candidate is comfortable navigating ambiguity and managing multiple, competing priorities. They are an excellent written and verbal communicator with attention to detail.

Primary Responsibilities

– Develop and implement BBOHT communications and engagement strategies, including but not limited to:
– Developing and maintaining BBOHT web presence targeted at community and clinicians
– Coordinating social media presence and activities
– Develop communications tools that will broaden and deepen the reach and impact of activities
– Acting as the key point of contact for communication queries and activities, including escalation to OHT Director as needed
– Coordinating the planning, writing, editing, production and distribution of reports, newsletters, publications and other communications
– Proofreading and editing reports as needed
– Ensuring quality control of external documents/communications
– Support and work alongside the Communications Work Group of the OHT, which includes communication experts from OHT partner agencies.
– Support other communications and engagement activities as needed.

Skills and Experience

– Undergraduate Degree in communications, public health, business administration with focus on marketing and branding
– Demonstrated experience organizing meetings and events
– Demonstrated experience in leading and developing communication materials on change management
– Demonstrated experience using various social media platforms and knowledge of social media engagement strategies
– Demonstrated ability to develop effective and comprehensive reports and presentations for various audiences, including patients and their families, community members, executives, administrators, and clinicians
– Demonstrated ability to write and edit clear, engaging, and grammatically correct content
– Knowledge and application of adult learning/teaching principles
– Demonstrated oral communication and interpersonal skills sufficient to convey information in a clear, concise way, synthesizing information and presenting it to others
– Demonstrated knowledge of or experience working with First Nations, Metis or Inuit Communities including the diversities amongst First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, cultures, and histories.
– Proven creative thinking and proven systematic organizational skills to work independently without supervision, determine workload priorities to complete work in a timely manner, and identify and resolve problems
– Ability to work under pressure and tight timelines
– Demonstrated innovative and out-of-the-box thinking and ability to handle and navigate ambiguity
– Previous, relevant experience in healthcare context
– Graphic design skills and video/multimedia production (preferred)

To submit your application, please forward your cover letter and resume to [email protected].

The Grand River Community Health Centre is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace. We welcome applications from women, members of racialized groups, visible minorities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientation and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

To ensure there is equal opportunity during the recruitment and selection process, Grand River Community Health Centre provides accommodation for applicants with disabilities upon request.

Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is September 30, 2021. Orange Shirt Day is an annual day to recognize and raise awareness to the residential school system in Canada, join together in the spirit of reconciliation, and honour the experiences of Indigenous Peoples. The date, September 30th, was selected to commemorate the time of year that Indigenous children were taken from their families to attend residential schools. Willowbridge stands in solidarity with our Indigenous neighbours, clients, staff, and community, and would like to encourage donating by ordering orange t-shirts from Woodland Cultural Centre here.

Respite Reopening

We are happy to be welcoming back our Routes Respite community as we emerge from a long lockdown!

Soaring Above the Turbulence – Group Starting TBD

Soaring Above The Turbulence – Group Sessions

Learning to Deal with Conflict and Anger
Free therapeutic group for women who have experienced abuse and want to learn strategies for calming, communication and letting go of anger.

This group will be meeting over Video Calls, starting TBD on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

To register for this group, please contact our intake line by February 26, 2021 to register:
519-753-4173 ext. 239

Introducing Willowbridge Community Services

Family Counselling Centre of Brant Rebrands to Willowbridge Community Services

For over 100 years our agency has been empowering, strengthening, and building with the community. Throughout our long history, we have watched the needs of that community evolve and change. Our agency has evolved and changed alongside it, extending our circle of care to new regions, innovating new programs, and focusing on increasingly diverse populations.

As of September 24th, 2020, we have evolved yet again. The former Family Counselling Centre of Brant has become Willowbridge Community Services in order to better reflect our community and organization. We have expanded to include Brantford, Brant, Hamilton, Niagara, Six Nations of the Grand River, Missisaugas of the Credit First Nation, and Haldimand-Norfolk. We offer counselling, developmental services, and financial empowerment to all those in need. We bring change to life. We are Willowbridge.

Why Willowbridge?

Through the process of rebranding, we have learned that Willowbridge Community Services is not only a name and brand, it is a vision for the future. It is a vision for an agency that is safe and welcoming to everyone. It is a promise to continue to work towards relevant, accessible, responsive community services.

We chose the name Willowbridge because we are rooted in support for the community. The willow tree has a long history of uses in medicine, spirituality and cultural traditions. Willows promote healing, symbolize resilience, and can provide sanctuary from the elements.

We also identify with the image of bridges, which are safe, supported and elevated. We hope to act as a bridge to meaningful relationships, celebration, and belonging together in partnership with the community.


New Name. New Look. Still Here For You

The name change was just the start of our rebranding process. Over the past twelve months, we have worked to build a new look that matches our name. Rebranding to Willowbridge Community Services has meant a new logo, new website, and all new communications products.
While we have made changes to our name and look, Willowbridge Community Services continues to be driven by the same mission vision and values.

“Our commitment to you remains unchanged”, says Leslie Josling, Executive Director. “I want to thank our community and those we support for helping us reimagine our future and our brand. I am so excited to continue working with you to make Willowbridge and our community safe, welcoming, and supportive.”

For more information on Willowbridge Community Services, please explore our website or contact us.

COVID-19 Updates – March 2020

Dear Community and Clients,

We at Willowbridge Community Services (formerly Family Counselling Centre of Brant) are committed to protecting the health and safety of our clients, community, and our staff. Following consultation with Ontario Public health and after reflecting on the rapid expansion of COVID-19 in Canada, we are taking precautions to ensure we do our part to minimize the spread of the virus.

Because the reduction of social contact is the most effective tool we have, please be advised that we will no longer be offering face-to-face appointments unless they are critical in nature. We are restricting all personal contact both in the office and on client’s premises.

As a result, we would like to advise you of the ways you can receive service from us without having to physically visit our office or see our staff in person.

  1. For those who currently receive Individual developmental service supports (Case Management, Intensive Case Management, Behaviour Supports); we urge you to call your worker and take advantage of either phone-based or video-counselling in the safety and comfort of your home.
  2. For those who receive Counselling or wish to refer for counselling, we also urge you to call your therapist or our intake department (519 753 4173 x 239) to take advantage of telephone counselling or video counselling.
  3. For those who receive Credit Counselling or wish to refer for Credit Counselling and Financial Empowerment Services please call your worker, Sue Davey (519 753 4173 x 245) or make a referral to Terri Gilroy (519 753 4173 x 223).

As a means of limiting social contact, we have closed our group programs, including Respite Services, Passports, and our group therapy programs.

If you or your loved one could benefit from telephone or video counselling supports instead please call our intake department (519 753 4173 x 239) and discuss your needs and options with us.

Thank you kindly for your consideration and patience. We look forward to continuing to serve you.

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Leslie Josling, MSc, RSW, G.Dipl.

Executive Director