North Coast Community Services (NCCS) is hoping to raise enough money to build a child development centre to better serve families in need.
On Sept. 7, The Northern View will be hosting its inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby with all proceeds going toward NCCS.
NCCS provides services to families and expecting families who are struggling with day-to-day life. They also provide services to children who are victims of violence and for children with special needs.
The closest child development centre to Prince Rupert is in Terrace.
“We feel that it’s a lacking area of services in our community,” Sherry Beal, the executive director at NCCS, said.
Just last month, NCCS gave more than 350 referrals out to service providers in the community.
“We would get an occupational therapist in there, speech and language therapist in there, we would have more in-depth services for children with disabilities, whether they are physical or learning disabilities, developmental delays, those types of things. So we will actually have all the services in one spot,” Beal said.
In addition to raising money, Beal is hoping to spread the word about NCCS in general.
“With the derby, we are hoping to reach people in the community that don’t have a lot of awareness of our program and our services. We want to let them know what we can offer if people are having a difficult time with their children or whatever their circumstances are,” Beal said.
More than $7,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs in two categories: salmon and halibut.
A $2,000 cash prize will be awarded to the largest legally-caught salmon and halibut, as well as second and third prizes of $1,000 and $500 respectively.
There will also be hidden weight and door prizes.
To enter the derby, simply purchase a ticket for $25 at The Northern View, Sea Sport Outboard Marina, Pacific Net and Twine and Bob’s on the Rocks. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event until 9 a.m. at Rushbrooke.
Some of the programs offered at NCCS are a pregnancy outreach program for perinatal women and persons who can access support for infants up to six months old.
NCCS just opened their Cradle to Moccasins Family Center, where family members — whether grandparents, parents, siblings, aunties or uncles — can bring in their little ones up to six years of age.
“It’s a place to be able to come to feel like you have somewhere to go and talk to someone. If you are concerned that your little one isn’t developing the right way we can get assessments done and get parents appropriate referrals to who they need to go to access other services,” Beal said.
Another program is the Family Skills Program which offers support to new parents and helps bring cultural aspects into what the family needs to be able to cope.
“Sometimes, if you grow that base of your culture, it makes it easier to cope with the other difficulties in your life,” Beal said. “We have elders that come in and spend time with the families and give them support as well.”
The other portion is access to supervised visits. If parents have their children removed from their homes, NCCS will supervise visits so that the families get to keep their connection as fast as possible.
All services at NCCS are free to the community, with some provincial ministries and Northern Health all sponsoring various programs.
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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