Our Year of Reconnecting

2022-2023 Annual Report

C

Message from our Board Chair and CEO

Stats at a Glance

Client Testimonials

Statement of Operations

Board of Directors

Funders and Partners

The Power of Reconnecting

Message from Our Board Chair and CEO

The past few years have undoubtedly changed the way we live, work, parent, and connect. As we get back to life after COVID, the importance of relationships and support are clearer than ever. Over the past year, BridgeWay has committed to helping our families and staff re-connect both in-person and online.

Families are reconnecting with our programs, visiting 210,578 times over the past fiscal year. We are back to pre-pandemic attendance numbers and expect to see more visits than ever in 2023-2024. With the opening of three new locations, we are working on making our centres even more accessible to families.

One of our main focuses has been on addressing gaps in service and providing opportunities for families to connect within their communities. Over the past year, we have introduced twelve new programs in our centers and in the community. With programs like Umoja-Black Families Connect, Family Time at the Peel Family Shelter, Just for Dads, and a post-natal program for our Healthy Start clients, families can build meaningful relationships and support each other.

Dealing with staff shortages within our sector has been a significant challenge for us over the past year. However, our dedicated staff have shown remarkable resilience through it all. As restrictions have eased, we are happy to say that we have resumed hosting in-person professional development and team-building events. This includes our highly anticipated annual staff conference and a variety of valuable training opportunities!

We’re excited to share that we’ve responded to clients’ needs through the launch of our new website. It has been designed to provide easy access to our schedules, as well as valuable resources and play ideas. We’ve also translated some of our most popular pages into three additional languages! Our goal is for the online experience to match what our clients love about visiting us in person, so we will continue to make improvements with the input of our valued families. We are on our way to building a user-friendly, inclusive website that empowers and supports parents every step of the way.

Reconnecting and rebuilding takes the collective efforts of those working behind the scenes, including our valued funders and donors. We want to sincerely thank our colleagues at the Region of Peel, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Peel Health for their ongoing dedication to the well-being and success of the families we serve. Their unwavering commitment and collaboration have played a vital role in enabling us to provide essential services to families and children. We are grateful for the many grants received in the past year to rebuild and expand our services.  We would also like to express our deepest gratitude to the family of Cecil and Dorothea Wiley, for their faithful donation through the SickKids Foundation. Together, with our generous funders and dedicated partners, we are paving the way for a brighter and more connected future for our communities.

As we continue to adapt and grow, we are grateful for the ongoing support of our community, funders, and donors. Together, we are re-connecting with our communities and families, and we are excited to see what the future holds.

Harjit Dhami
Chair and President

Lory Wolter
Chief Executive Officer

Reconnecting with Families

2022-2023 Stats at a Glance

Program Visits

Total Adult Visits

Total Child Visits

Total Visits

Click the photo to see more!

Digital Engagement

Website Visitors

New Email Subscribers

Social Media Post Engagement

Making New Connections

Some New Programs

Dim The Lights

Families can explore the centre with reduced sensory stimulation during Dim the Lights. In this EarlyON program, we keep the centre as quiet as possible by playing calming music (or no music at all), removing loud toys, and singing softly during circle time. Lights are dimmed, less materials are out and fidget toys are available.

Umoja - Black Families Connect

Umoja– Black Families Connect is a 6-week series that focuses on Black families celebrating black heritage and culture together. Families will connect and have some fun as they explore creative ways to include their child(ren) in storytelling, nutrition and their overall health and well-being.

Just for Dads

Parenting a new baby is challenging; full of highs and lows. It can feel even harder if you or your partner are struggling with Postpartum Mood Disorder (PPMD). 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will experience PPMD after the birth or adoption of their baby. Getting support is important.

Just For Dads (EarlyON) is facilitated by Patrick Mahoney BScN, RN.

In this workshop, Patrick will guide the discussion to:

  • learn about the signs and symptoms of PPMD,
  • discuss what it means to experience PPMD,
  • talk about ways to support their partner experiencing PPMD,
  • explore resources available to men and women, and
  • discuss ways to manage parenting a new child.

Healthy Start Postpartum Program

Mothers who attended Healthy Start are welcome to join Healthy Start Postpartum Program. This program provides food and mental health supports, as well as opportunities to network and learn about a variety of parenting topics. Some topics include: Postpartum Mood Disorder, baby proofing your home, breastfeeding, and adjusting to life with a new baby.

Families will also learn about more of BridgeWay’s programs and services.

Healthy Start Postpartum Program is for families with babies birth to 6 months.

Growing Family

This is a program for parents who have recently welcomed another child to their family! Adjusting to life with a new baby or child in a multi-child family requires time and patience. Routines will change, relationships may become strained, and parents can be left feeling overwhelmed with the growing demands on their time and energy. During Growing Family, parents can come together to share stories about their own experiences, gain support from each other, and make connections.

Family Time at Peel Family Shelter

Families at Peel Family Shelter with children birth to 6 years are welcome to join Family Time! In this EarlyON and Growing Together in Peel partner program, families will sing songs, play and read stories. Through hands-on experiences, children will practice skills that will help them in school and beyond.

We Are Family

Families from the LGBTQ2S+ community can connect with each other while playing with their children during We Are Family.

Snacks, Stories and Songs

In this EarlyON program, families will bring a snack and join our staff and a Registered Dietitian for songs, stories, activities and conversations all related to snacks, eating and food.

Get a glimpse of Snacks, Stories and Songs!

The Joy of Reconnecting

In the words of our families…

People in Healthy Start are so great… they handle and take care everyone else in the program so warmly, showing love and care which make us feel comfortable and happy to attend the program. Thank you so much. – Healthy Start Client

She loves and wants to be here everyday. She was very shy and scared, now she has made lots of friends and learned so much. I hope every mom gets to experience with their little ones at EarlyON. Thank you to everyone involved into make this beautiful environment for our future families and children, and to all the kind workers at every location.  – EarlyON Client

So great to get out in the community and engage with other parents with children who are around the same age range as my children. I’ve actually met parents that live very close to me through Healthy Start and Family Kitchen programs and we have became very close friends outside of the programs over the years. I’m originally from Nova Scotia so after moving here it’s been great to meet new people for my children and myself. The coordinators and facilitators of the programs I’ve attended have all been very informative and welcoming as well. I feel at ease, happy and productive when I’m engaging with the programs offered. The website and social media pages have made it very easy to see what is up and coming with programs in Peel suitable for my family. – Growing Together in Peel Client

Reconnecting Supports

Statement of Operations

2023 2022
Revenue
Program Revenue $6,039,879 $4,980,087
Fundraising & Other Income $455,879 $193,654
$6,495,758 $5,173,741
Expenses
Program Operations and Administration $6,300,930 $5,039,954
$6,300,930 $5,039,954
 
Net Excess Revenue Over Expenses $194,828 $133,787

 

Grocery Cards Distributed

Gore Meadows EarlyON Centre – Now Open!

There was so much buzz about the site… we all were excited and eagerly waiting for it. Finally in 2021, we started our outdoor program at the most beautiful location, Gore Meadows. Surrounded with nature; in spring and summer beautiful birds are there to welcome you, in fall there are slimy snails, and in winter so much snow. If you are lucky enough, you might see a frog as well! Gore Meadows is full of life.

Finally, on May 9, 2022, we officially open the doors for families. With the hard work of an amazing team today families call Gore Meadows their second home. This is where we share warm hugs, wipe down tears, listen to stories, and support each other.

It has been an amazing year. I’m so grateful to be part of this team, and really looking forward to many more successful years with our centre, Gore Meadows. – Amandeep, BridgeWay Staff

Community Reconnections

Board

Board

Chair and President
Harjit Dhami

Vice Chair
Gunita Mitera

Vice Chair
Sarah Petersen

Treasurer
Urooj Khan

Secretary
Karen Seunarine

Past Chair
Kelsey Orth

Chief Executive Officer
Lory Wolter

Directors
Ravinder Auluck
Joshua Cavric
Silvia Devlin
Felicia Empey
Deby Ko
Waqqas Shafique

Associate Directors
Danielle Fox
Yui Sze (Alia) Lee
Hongliu Mo

Funders

Partners