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Family resource centre in P.E.I. marks anniversary

P.E.I. Military Family Resource Centre
P.E.I. Military Family Resource Centre - Google

The P.E.I. Military Family Resource Centre recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.

Since opening in 2014, the centre has increased in size from five staff members to seven and changed locations from the West Royalty Industrial Park to HMCS Queen Charlotte.

It has also expanded to include a satellite office space in Summerside’s Credit Union Place, which is open twice a week.

The centre marked its anniversary by hosting an official ceremony that included members of the military community, dignitaries and the public. A military family coin was presented to HMCS Queen Charlotte Cmdr. Rob Alain, which he extended to the ship’s company, for their support of the centre.

“Military families face challenges the general population doesn’t often have to cope with. Whether the military member takes a deployment or is on regular training exercises, family separation is a big part of military families’ day-to-day life. On top of that, you have the stress and worry that comes when a loved one is doing a job that does come with risks.’’

- Edward MacAulay

Leona Conrick, executive director of the centre, said she’s thrilled to see how much the organization has grown during the past five years.

“For the first few years we were here, the focus was on visibility — finding our military families in P.E.I.,’’ Conrick said. “This is a challenge with our high reservist population. We’re still working on that, but we’re now able to focus more on programs and services for our military and veteran families — things like providing childcare reimbursement, medical transportation assistance, social opportunities for our families, assistance to veterans transitioning out of the military and counselling for military families.’’

Edward MacAulay, a registered social worker and staff member at the centre, said the military lifestyle is unique.

“Military families face challenges the general population doesn’t often have to cope with,’’ MacAulay said. “Whether the military member takes a deployment or is on regular training exercises, family separation is a big part of military families’ day-to-day life. On top of that, you have the stress and worry that comes when a loved one is doing a job that does come with risks.’’

For more information, call 902-892-8999, visit CAFconnection.ca/PEI. The Charlottetown office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. while the Summerside location is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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