CameronHelps ends school year marked with numerous highlights

CameronHelps continues to make headway with its TEAM UNBREAKABLE programs and supporters can look back to the 2015-2016 school year and celebrate a number of achievements and highlights.

The heart of the program is the participation of our youth and with over 50 schools and family health teams that have run Team Unbreakable programs, well over 1,000 individuals are being taught how physical health can aid in their mental well-being. Many students who have never participated in any group activity finally have a program where they can feel welcome. And there are some very special things going on in our schools, such as at St. Roch in Brampton. This special Catholic Secondary School, raised over $1,000 for youth mental health and created a video about their team’s fundraising. Without the full support of many excellent coaches such as Rosanna Bird from St. Anthony of Padua Elementary School in Milton, the program would not be a success. More details on our outstanding programs and coaches will be upcoming.

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From a funding and growth perspective, the charity was fortunate to receive two grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The first grant, announced in late 2015, has allowed the organization to expand its programs into Toronto schools and up to 15 schools will be in place for the fall of 2016. The second grant announced in early 2016 from the OTF has enabled CameronHelps to run Team Unbreakable programs for community-based organizations in Halton-Peel. We are excited to develop partnerships with Ontario lead mental health organizations such as Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK) in Halton and Peel Children’s Centre in Peel to develop the programs that will most benefit the community. Additionally, we will be working with community-based family health care teams, churches and clubs.

An updated 5-year strategic plan was approved by the Board of Directors. We will be taking a more aggressive approach to expanding our Team UNBREAKABLE program to more schools, for more students, but we’ll need your help. And the charity revamped its website so that it would be a more modern and user-friendly resource.

The goal run events such as the Unbreakable Bold & Cold in November and the Halton Youth Mental Health Mother’s Day 5k in May were very well attended and sponsored runners fundraised to help pay for programming.

The organization is always inspired by those who are runners and want to give back to our youth. Teacher Virginia Gingras ran the length of the Bruce Trail last summer and raised money for CameronHelps. Others who individually raised money for us this year included a social worker from Kitchener, Scott Grant, a Brampton executive and former Milton firefighter Chad Harper and a Toronto executive and marathoner Mark Trenton.

For the fall launch of new programs, Team Unbreakable plans to expand its library of lessons, train more coaches and develop more implementation support teams. For more information or to support the Team Unbreakable program contact Carlw@cameronhelps.ca

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