LaFF lauded for its work with Ladysmith families

Ladysmith Family and Friends has been selected as B.C.'s premier family resource program for 2012.

Local families have access to the highest-rated support program in the province according to the BC Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP-BC).

LaFF, or the Ladysmith Family and Friends Resource Program, was selected by FRP-BC as B.C.’s premier family resource program for 2012.

Jacquie Neligan, LaFF’s executive director, travelled to Vancouver last Friday to receive the award. She said this was the second time LaFF has received a Distinguished Service Award from the FRP-BC in the last six years.

“We won in 2006 and then we were just awarded again,” Neligan said. “Winning groups are only allowed to enter once every six years.”

Resource programs from across the province apply to the FRP-BC, submitting testimonial letters alongside their applications. Applicants are then judged based on “what makes a great family resource program,” Neligan said. “Creating a safe and nurturing environment and volunteerism are really important.”

The award was accompanied by a $1,000 bursary that Neligan said would be used to support LaFF and offset the costs of travel to and from association board meetings on the Mainland.

LaFF services 480 families, Neligan said, drawing participants from Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Lantzville, Chemainus and Ladysmith. Some travel from as far as Qualicum Beach and the Malahat.

They provide services to short-term visitors, too.

“There are quite a few families that come to visit grandparents here,” she added, “and when they’re in town, this is definitely the stop for families.”

LaFF was founded in 1996 as a volunteer organization, Neligan said. She joined the program as a participant 15 years ago.

“As a young mom with two children and no friends in the area — and limited family — it was a lifesaver for me at that point,” Neligan said.

Neligan joined the board a few years later and eventually became LaFF’s first paid employee seven years ago when she was named as the group’s program co-ordinator.

LaFF employs seven staff members now, Neligan said. As executive director — her new title as of last spring — she remains LaFF’s sole full-time employee, supported by six part-time staffers and a legion of 85 volunteers, eight of whom sit on LaFF’s board of directors.

LaFF receives additional support from service groups like Rotary, the Kinsmen and the Eagles, Neligan added, and from business groups like the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association.

“This is definitely more of a community award,” Neligan suggested, “because we’re winning this award thanks to the collaboration and connections within the community.”

LaFF’s programs are diverse and include both daytime and evening activities.

“LaFF in the Morning” runs from 9:30 to noon, Monday through Friday, at Aggie Hall and offers activities for children aged zero to six and their families. “Family Frolics,” hosted Tuesdays from 5:45-6:45 p.m. at the Frank Jameson Community Centre, serves as a “great gym time and a time to burn off energy before bed.”

“We have more dads participating in that one because they’re home from work,” Neligan said, “and that’s time they can spend with their kids.”

Wednesday nights are “SEWcial Nights,” Neligan added, offering children, families and seniors a chance to participate in activities ranging from sewing and quilting to baking and canning.

“That’s a great multi-generational time,” she said. “One member told me with a tear in her eye how she hadn’t held a baby for 33 years, and here she was holding a baby.”

LaFF routinely hosts special events, too, Neligan said. These include community events like last weekend’s Pancake Breakfast with Santa, a family dance scheduled for Feb. 8, Earth Day activities and occasional language classes dedicated to Hul’qumi’num training.

“We’re always creating opportunities for community members, volunteers and service agencies to strengthen the fabric of life for children and families,” Neligan said. “We want families to feel like they’re embedded in this really nurturing environment. We’re not the be-all and end-all for families, but we like to connect them with the amazing services that exist within the community. We’re there to facilitate relationships forming and connections being made.”

To learn more about LaFF’s programs, call 250-210-0870

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ladysmith centenarian honoured with birthday parade

Kay Rozzano said she’s been looking forward to this birthday ‘for 100 years’

Council votes to move forward with detailed site investigation of waterfront area lands

The “uplands area” of the Ladysmith waterfront has historical contaminants that must be remediated

Senior who was excessively speeding in Ladysmith says RCMP shouldn’t have impounded her vehicle

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Heartfelt memories of Derek Descoteau four years later

Victim of Chemainus murder and his brother leave a huge impact on a large group of friends

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read