Anna Goudie, left, is the program manager at the Aboriginal Family Centre. Nicole Parsons came by with her son Noah. (John Gaudi/CBC) The Aboriginal Family Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bas has reopened in a new location, two months after mould forced the old building to close.
"It’s great to be back," said Lori Dyson-Edmunds, an early childhood educator at the centre, on the day of its reopening at its new Grenfell Street location.
"It’s a new location but the vibe is still here, the family vibe is still here," Dyson-Edmunds told CBC’s Labrador Morning .
The centre, which serves Indigenous children younger than six and their caregivers with programs like a playgroup and the Healthy Baby Club, closed to the public in early September as a health and safety precaution. Mould was found in the original home of the Aboriginal Family Centre in late summer. (Submitted by Labrador Friendship Centre) Staff found mould in the building in late summer, and it was worse than expected once a contractor came in to look behind the walls.
Now the centre has rented two spaces in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, with a door between them, and is once again offering most of its programming. Outdoor activities planned
Residents who use the centre were happy to see it back in action.
"This is awesome," said Nicole Parsons, who missed having a place for her son Noah to socialize with other young children.
"We’ve been waiting for this for a while, so we’re super-excited that it’s up and going now."
The new location doesn’t have a gym, as the old one did, but most of the programming is back, said Anna Goudie, the centre’s program manager.
"We will certainly miss our gym from the old building, but we were pleasantly surprised with this location," Goudie said.
The centre now has some snowshoes and plans to make outdoor activities part of its programming when weather permits. ‘We will never turn away families’
Some of the programs at the new location have slightly fewer spots as the staff figure out how things will play out with no gym, Goudie said.
"Right now we have lowered our registration by just a couple per session, but we don’t have a wait list right now," she said.
Even if specific programs at the centre are full, the drop-in programs are always available, she said. Anna Goudie, program manager at the Aboriginal Family Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, says most of the programs are back at the new centre. (John Gaudi/CBC) "We will never turn away families from this program, because of drop-in."
It was difficult to move to a new space, Dyson-Edmunds said, after being so long in the previous one.
"It certainly was an emotional time," she said. "[But] at the end of the day, the health and safety of the kids was first and foremost."Staff are settling in to their new surroundings and things are coming together, said Valerie Rachwal, another early child educator at the centre."I’m just happy to be back doing what I love," Rachwal said. With files from Labrador Morning Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
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