Group aims to open pregnancy centre in Windsor

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on February 15, 2012
Vincent Boisvert, Wanda Boisvert, Pastor Stephen Williams, Paula Walsh and Jaimie Murphy are volunteers rallying to make a pregnancy outreach centre a reality in Windsor. Also pictured in the photo is Sara Murphy.
Ashley Thompson

A small group of community volunteers is working toward establishing a Valley Care Pregnancy Centre satellite office in Windsor.

Wanda Boisvert, of Garlands Crossing, is one of five volunteers spearheading the project that aims to have a pregnancy support centre in Windsor before the end of 2012.

“Most of the young girls here that get pregnant… don’t have a way to get to Kentville,” Boisvert said of the group’s desire to see the pregnancy centre’s services offered in Windsor.

Boisvert said the group intends to open a location in downtown Windsor that will give women a support system to access at any stage in their pregnancy, and motherhood.

“We don’t turn anybody away; we don’t condemn them or tell them what to do,” Boisvert explained.

“We are, more or less, there just to listen and to find out what they need and see if there is some way we can provide it for them.”

The Valley Care Pregnancy Centre offers free pregnancy tests that must be self-administered, counselling, access to resources, ongoing support and referrals, some material needs, life skills training, mentoring, support for people considering or affected by adoption, post-abortion recovery assistance, sexual health education and counselling for men.

The satellite outreach office in Windsor would be run by volunteers, with help from the director of the Valley Care Pregnancy Centre in Kentville.

Boisvert said about 20 people attended the first community meeting regarding the project on Feb. 6.

“We haven’t had anybody that’s said we don’t need an office here,” she said.

“We hope to open up sometime this year, but it will all depend on the money.”

The group is in search of volunteers who genuinely want to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Training sessions will be held at the Oasis Community Church Feb. 17 from 7-9 p.m., Feb. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 24 from 7-9 p.m. and Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Following training, the focus will be on fundraising about $1,000 a month to cover the costs of leasing a space.

Volunteer Jaimie Murphy is excited about the prospect of being able to reach out to others in a greater capacity.

“I had been involved a little bit with outreach through the Oasis Community Church and… I’ve seen a lot of young moms in desperate need of financial help, and support,” the mother of two said.

“I feel that for the most part they feel sheltered and not… welcomed just because there’s a stigma attached to them because they’re pregnant.”

Murphy says she is looking forward to being a shoulder to lean on for people who need it the most.

“It would be a really nice thing to connect with these young moms and tell them that there is support for them and that our counsellor’s centre will be available for them.”

For more information, visit www.asafeplaceforme.com or drop in on a training session at the Oasis Community Church.