Fraserside Community Services is raising funds to support community members with mental illness.
A new fundraising campaign is aiming to raise enough money to replace a 17-year-old passenger van that’s served as a lifeline by allowing folks to participate in community activities. Fraserside’s New Leaf Clubhouse supports 132 adults living with a serious mental illness.
“This van provides a valuable connection for those living with mental illness to the greater community,” Fraserside CEO Lynda Edmonds said in a press release. “This is especially important right now, with so many suffering from social isolation.”
According to Fraserside, New Leaf Clubhouse members rely on the passenger van for community outings. It’s also used to transport the New Leaf floor hockey and baseball teams to their games.
“The aging 15-seat van is on its last legs, and needs to be replaced,” said the press release. “Without a reliable vehicle to rely on, members will be missing out on meaningful participation in the community, an important part of their recovery.”
Fraserside is aiming to raise $70,000 to replace the van and is hoping to buy a new vehicle in early 2022. It’s getting some help along the way from Piva Modern Italian Restaurant in New West, which is matching up to $10,000.
“We are appealing to the giving spirit of New West residents, to help people living with mental illness experience community belonging,” Edmonds said. “We hope the generosity of Piva Modern Italian Restaurant will inspire others to also support this project.”
New Leaf Clubhouse provides programs in personal wellness, employment, life skills, counselling and recreation. It also operates a food bank.
Considered to be an essential service for its members, New Leaf Clubhouse has remained open since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For those suffering from mental illness, the pandemic has been an especially difficult time. The decrease in social connection has had a negative impact on mental health and has increased the need for extra supports,” said the press release. “Most New Leaf members cannot afford social activities above and beyond the cost of rent and food, making the community outings and activities at the Clubhouse, a key source of meaningful social interaction.”