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$50,000 grant to help church be accessible to community seven days a week

The community gathered at St. Andrew's Church last month for a Town Hall information session on wind turbines.

St. Andrew’s Church in Picton will increase accessibility for people with disabilities thanks to a $50,000 Canadian government grant.

The church’s Accessibility Project will help construct an exterior ramp, widen doorways, install automated door openers and build an accessible washroom with accessible door handles.

Rev. Lynne Donovan (Phil Norton photo)

St. Andrew’s minister Lynne Donovan is thrilled.
“We have worked hard to make our church a real public building so that it can be used seven days a week by the community. This involved the decision to completely renovate the sanctuary,” she said. “This grant confirms the direction that we have taken – the government has recognized our desire to make the church a multi-purpose space. The money will allow us to make the main floor accessibile and to provide a bathroom and kitchenette on this floor which makes hosting a variety of events so much more appealing. We will continue to make the sanctuary available to the wider community for a variety of creative and courageous endeavours. Apart from the wider community, we have a number of older members who have been unable to get into our building and now they can fully participate in our life together.””

“Our government recognizes the abilities of all Canadians and celebrates the progress we have made as a society towards the full inclusion of people with disabilities,” said Prince Edward Hastings MP Daryl Kramp, making the announcement on behalf of Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
“Through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, we are helping Canadians truly get involved in their communities by improving access to facilities, activities and services. No one should be excluded from participating in their community because of a physical barrier.”

St. Andrew’s calls itself a circle of friends committed to partnering with people and organizations who share a vision for a healthy human community.
Since 2008, in partnership with permaculture expert David Riley, the church has hosted annual sheet-mulch gardening workshops and continues to make community gardening space available to the public.
St. Andrew’s also shares its space with Transition PEC, an organization devoted to conversations around sustainable practices in order to meet the challenges of global warming and peak oi. The church also hosts the Reaching for Rainbows program where Grade 1 girls develop positive relationships and develop tools they need for academic and social success and to develop good decision making skills.

The community is welcome to attend The Sounds of Ireland, a benefit concert featuring tenor Julian Gallo, accompanist Tom Dietzel and soprano Lenni Stewart, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day.

Presented by the Kiwanis Club of Picton, the Friday, March 16 event begins at 7:30 p.m. Concert proceeds will be donated to Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW).
SCAW provides bed kits to children in 33 undeveloped and developing countries. Each $35. donation provides a bed kit containing a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if needed) an outfit of clothing and school supplies. No part of a bed kit donation is spent on administration.
Tickets available at the church, from the offices of Century 21 Real Estate, or at Stephen Licence in Belleville.

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