Board of Directors
Linda Byers, Board Chair
As the Board Chair for the Association, I thank each one of you for your contributions to our success as an organization. Our crowning achievement this past year has been living into our Vision and Mission statement. Establishing these statements took much intentional thought and energy and is a true reflection of those we support, the staff and management team, our board of directors and our community partners. In fact, as a proud board member, I can confidently report that we have added to our numbers based on advertising who we are in our statement! We have attracted those who are keenly aware of the impact they have on the people they work with and of course, the impression they make in the community. Our team is highly professional and dedicated to service with excellence. I envision Alice Saddy watching from above with a broad grin on her face!
There have been many challenges, obstacles thrown in our path. Solvency for the sake of continued future autonomy seemed threatened this past year with the demands the government made with the passing of Bill 148. The strain on our budget looked ominous at first glance. However, the management team came up with solutions that almost seemed miraculous. The staff and management team is dedicated to maintaining the high calibre atmosphere that comes with individuals who want to serve and serve well. It was important for us to all agree on the solutions and this was easily done, given the strategic plan that was presented to the board. Happily, the government has done their part too, in helping us maintain our established way of being uniquely Alice.
There are plans in the works… exciting possibilities which include: increasing our visibility in the community, teaching others about who we are and what we stand for, and against; seeking and finding employment and community connections for the people we support; raising funds so that the “good life” can be experienced by all; partnering with like minded associations as a unifying force. We are forever learning and growing into better versions of ourselves, as the current saying goes.
Living into our vision IS our statement – our mission – and we do this so very well. I thank you for partnering with us.
Gail Lafreniere, Director of Finance
Revenue: $6,492,000 Expenses: $6,492,000
With our major source of funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) and fee-for-service from other agencies, Alice Saddy Association has been in a good position to provide supports to people as needed. We provide excellent housing in units across London and participates in a subsidised housing program with London Housing. Our multiple sources of funding make Alice Saddy Association financially stable. Financial statements are available upon request.
5.9% Other Agencies, Passport Funding
Deb Roukema, Director of Services
I was asked to think about highlights and achievements, challenges and goals for this year. I love this approach as it helps us to get out of the detailed small picture that we often find ourselves and look up and out at the big picture of our Support Services using the lens of our vision and mission statements.
There were many highlights this year but to hone in on a few I would have to say that our Building Inclusive Community Conference (formerly “Break Away Days”) for the people we support, renamed this year to: Living the Dream was certainly one of them. We focused on the theme “Dreams to Reality” and how that looks and happens for people. One of the ways that this was highlighted was through a video presentation called PechaKucha. Using photos and narratives, several people were able to tell their story of travel dreams coming true, educational successes that lead to employment opportunities and finding a new home and neighbourhood.
As for the challenges, there can be many, but certainly one of the big ones is ensuring that each person supported has the right amount of support so that we can still foster independence while also providing the safe and adequate amount of support for success. As well, we continue to strive for excellence with our Quality Assurance Measure within the Ministry. (I am happy to say that we achieved a 98.3% this year). This is always a challenge as we need to balance the “regulations” with the vision and philosophy of ensuring that people live “every day normal lives” with all of the risks and realities that can be a part of this.
One of the goals for this coming year is to continue to focus our supports on community inclusion and to assist people to find employment, volunteer work, valued relationships and a place of belonging in their neighbourhoods and communities. We do this by continuing to invest in employees by having them participate in the Social Role Valorization courses as well as Facilitation Leadership so that we all can live out the Vision and Mission statements of Alice Saddy Association: Building a community that welcomes every person equally with respect and acceptance.
Kathie Kelly, Director, Human Resources
Supporting a healthy workplace environment has been an intentional focus over the past year. We have had the ability to initiate the practice of “Mindfulness” within our culture through guided practices hosted at our Employee Engagement Meetings and Community Events. Mindfulness means “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” and this awareness enables employees to “be present” throughout their day, in the best interest of people supported. Maintaining the ability to provide superior supports to each person within our service guides us to be progressive in our thinking to create efficient internal practices.
Staff Development provides ongoing resources through Community Development events that enhance skill development while the newly implemented Surge Learning System allows for on-going legislated and mandated requirements to be maintained in an efficient manner.
Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) came into affect January 2018 and encompassed many Employment Standard Act revisions including an increase in minimum wage and other financially impacting standards. Implementing the revisions were a daunting task internally and involved much effort on behalf of everyone here at Alice Saddy Association.
As we move into this new year, we vision a workplace that provides a comprehensive Wellness Flex Plan that will be available to the larger body of employees with a focus on fairness and equity across the board. Which is reflective of our goal to create a Workplace of Excellence!!!
Bethany Van Arnhem, Coordinator, Community Participation
The past year has been a year of inclusion and focusing on community connections. The Alice Saddy Association has adopted Meredith Park. The people we support have cleaned the park and helped plant fruit trees. We are in the park once a week for lunch and a game of tennis or basketball with community members.
As the Community Participation Coordinator fostering connections and having the opportunity to meet new people is key. Several meet up groups have been started in the community where individuals can meet new people, be accepted and feel that they belong. Change can be a difficult process. The new story is a life based in community.
Some goals for the upcoming year are to actively volunteer at The London Food Bank, The Palace Theatre and The Western Fair District. Through volunteering many of the people we support can make new connections, gain skills and develop relationships. Networking and looking for ways individuals can gain employment is always a goal and I will continue to look for opportunities.