Delta mayor Lois Jackson, presenting flowers to Reach executive director Renie D’Aquila at the Feb. 24 grand opening of the Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Reach Society officially opens new child centre in Delta

The Lois Jackson Kinsmen Centre has the capacity to help more than 2,000 children with special needs

There was emotion in Mayor Lois Jackson’s voice when she spoke during the opening of the new Reach Child and Youth Development Society building.

Standing at the podium on Saturday, Feb. 24, she spoke about the importance of a dedicated space for children with special needs in the community.

“This facility will become a vibrant part of the community,” Jackson said. “From Delta’s perspective I think it’s wonderful that we’ve come from being housed in modular buildings on 72nd Street, in a rural area, to now being in the centre of our community.”

The newly constructed building she was standing in had special significance: it will help improve Reach’s ability to help kids like Jackson’s granddaughter, and it was named for Jackson herself.

RELATED: Reach society’s new child centre named for Delta mayor

The Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children (5050 47th Ave.) is the result of many year’s labour to get a new building for Reach.

The 2,000 square foot building cost $5.7 million — $1 million of that was provided by the City of Delta, with an additional $1.3 million of in-kind donations from the city, while the rest was provided through grants and donations from other organizations or individuals.

The building will double Reach’s capacity to help children with special needs (currently Reach provides services to around 1,000 families) and create a centralized location that is accessible by bus.

The building also includes four counselling rooms; three speech, language and occupational therapy rooms; one designated physical therapy room; an accessible playground and open concept office space for Reach staff.

“It’s days like this I really miss my last portfolio,” Delta MP Carla Qualtrough said at the opening ceremonies. Qualtrough is currently the minister of procurement and public services, but was previously the minister of sport and persons with disabilities.

“When you’re a parent and you’re about to have a child, you have an almost naive sense of certainty about what their life will look like,” she continued. “And when you’re a parent, as my mum was, who is told that your child was born with some kind of disability, a lot of that certainty slips away. And you don’t know what the future is going to hold for your child.

“Reach provides that certainty for the children and their families.”

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The Lois. E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children had its official opening on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (Grace Kennedy photo)

The new Reach building has three floors. The second level has therapy, counselling and group rooms, while the third floor is all offices. (Grace Kennedy photo)

There are four counselling rooms, staffed by Reach’s part-time counsellors. (Grace Kennedy photo)

There are also four therapy rooms for speech, language, occupational and physical therapy. (Grace Kennedy photo)

The youth room is a group room for teen services and group respite. Eventually, other programs may also use the space. (Grace Kennedy photo)

The third floor offices can be locked at night, while the rest of the building remains open. (Grace Kennedy photo)

The Reach building also includes an accessible playground and park. This fenced area includes a large log in the centre, as well as a swing set. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Another part of the centre’s playground. (Grace Kennedy photo)

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