By Lisa Cyr
Since the beginning of May, the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter has disbursed over 20 art kits to women and their children in this community.
The art kits, which are funded through the shelter’s new COVID-19 social response program, are part of the shelter’s larger women’s outreach program, Moving Forward.
The shelter recently received funds from the Columbia Basin Trust to offer social support to isolated or vulnerable men and women in the community during the pandemic and beyond through its peer group support groups and individual outreach, which provides support in obtaining essential goods such as food, prescriptions and more.
|A child enjoying watercolour paint provided by the shelter. (Submitted)|
“The idea emerged as a way to continue our art program online. Providing individuals, children and families with the supplies to explore creativity and connection while at home, and seeing the excitement in the Moving Forward community has inspired me to keep expanding the art kit program for any Revelstoke family,” said Moving Forward coordinator, Anneliese Neweduk.
For one mother, the kit has provided her with an activity she can do with her daughter. “I am so grateful for this art kit,” she said. “Not only does it provide me with art supplies I could otherwise not afford, it also gives me some fun activities I can do with my daughter since she is not able to go back to day care or pre-school yet.”
The kits vary based on family size and can include anything from watercolour paints and paper, acrylic paint, canvases, paintbrushes, adult and children’s colouring books, and more, and are one of the many services offered through the Moving Forward program.
Moving Forward also offers weekly yoga classes via zoom, and has recently moved its art classes and ukulele sessions to zoom as well. The program offers self-care tips through its mailing list, as well as other occasional workshops, such as vision board making.
More recently, the program also started providing clients with small tomato and herb pots as well as strawberry starts (upon request), and also released its cook book, which is made up of recipes from transition house clients, staff and program participants. Download the cookbook: http://revelstokewomensshelter.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Moving-Forward-2020-Cookbook-web.pdf
The program is open to any woman in the community who feels she could benefit from a supportive group setting. Women interested in the program should contact Anneliese Neweduk, Coordinator: email@example.com or phone 250 814 8387.
Any woman wishing to flee an abusive situation should call the 24 hour crisis line: 250 837 1111.