PROMOTING PERSONAL AND COLLECTIVE WELL-BEING
A wide range of programs to meet a variety of needs, often urgent or acute, whether for women directly in the community or further afield, across the entire metropolitan area.
More than 730 people benefited from the different services and activities provided to the community; many made use of more than one service.
Some sectors of our community services, like community activities and the Volunteer Centre, experienced several interruptions. Some were due to the pandemic and social distancing measures, and others were due to the challenge of recruiting resources, as was the case for the Legal Information Clinic.
Adapting services so they could be offered online certainly represented quite a challenge, but we noted that, in the case of the Family Caregivers Support Program, this actually improved and facilitated the lives of the caregivers we were helping. Family caregivers could benefit from our help without having to worry about finding someone else to look after their family member, which was especially difficult due to the risks of contagion. Our support was particularly in demand as many of them had to deal with an untimely death or suddenly found themselves without outside help for extended periods.
Gender inequalities are particularly pronounced when it comes to safety and affordable housing. Women face a multitude of issues that can endanger their survival as well as that of their children, as illustrated by the information below.
In Quebec, close to 60% of caregivers are women and 40% of women between the ages of 45 and 65 are caregivers.1 Those who have jobs risk having to miss work, work less hours, or having to quit their job because they have to care for a family member.2 The pandemic and social isolation have sharply increased the loneliness, exhaustion and anxiety faced by caregivers.
With respect to access to to civil justice, Canada ranks 9th out of 38 high-income countries.3 Surveys show that the population no longer appears to have faith in the judicial system, which translates to a growing number of people representing themselves in court. Too slow, too expensive, too complex and remote: this is the image of justice maintained by the citizens.4
The population in the Peter-McGill district consists mostly of individuals living on their own, and 62% of residents were not not born in Canada.5 TheIsolation, the need to create connections, and the lack of family and community resources are key issues6, as is poverty, which affects more than 38% of children between the ages of 0 and 17.7
In Quebec, 66% of volunteers feel that their volunteering has helped them to increase their skills(this proportion rises to 86% among the 35 years-old and under and to 77% among the immigrants and 29% say that their volunteer work has brought them into contact with potential employers . Volunteer work is a good gateway to perfecting skills and to integrating into the labour market.8
A wide range of services and activities designed to help participants build relationships, combat isolation, focus on self-care, learn about personal rights, obtain support, guidance, respite, and information on various issues.
SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS
The caregiver’s role is a demanding one. Our team of intervention workers provides one-on-one and group support, social and well-being activities, as well as workshops and conferences directed at making life simpler and increasing the ability of caregivers to act.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Physical, creative and instructional activities are offered.
LEGAL INFORMATION CLINIC
Thanks to a team of more than 20 Pro Bono lawyers, volunteer notaries and students, the clinic can provide consultations for a minimal fee. The service includes workshops, conferences, certification of documents and support. The service includes workshops, conferences, certification of documents and support.
Nearly 67% of consultations revolve around family law, immigration, workand housing, with a marked emphasis on issues related to family law (over 37%).
Income tax Clinic
Free tax return clinic for low-income women and families. Offered in partnership with Revenue Quebec’s and the Canada Revenue Agency’s Income Tax Assistance.
Requests handled and people served: 115
Tax declarations filed: 85
Approximately 30 different volunteer positions for a useful and meaningful sharing of expertise, skills and time.
90% of the women who receive support from our Family Caregivers Support Program feel the activities provided contribute positively to their ability to maintain a balanced life. 9
78% of participants in community activities feel these activities allowed them to have a better sense of well-being by helping them get in shape and feel relaxed. 9
Nora Jones, a volunteer with Pro Bono Students Canada, was awarded the Chief Justice Richard Wagner Award for her exemplary contribution and her involvement in the Legal Information Clinic.
The oldest of all the YWCA participants, aged 84 years, is… a caregiver. It should be pointed out that 85% of caregivers are aged 50 years or older.
(women who visited the Legal Information Clinic)