-Kyle Darbyson / Thompson Citizen
Local parents looking for a wide variety of programs and services related to early childhood care can now find it all under one roof at Marymound North’s new location at 117 Commercial Place.
This new family resource centre is double the size of their last location and is designed to house Marymound’s “Futures” and “Babies’ Best Start” programs in a single building.
During the facility’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on the morning of Sept. 19, Susan Tennenhouse, a senior manager for treatment foster care, said most of the credit for this grand opening should be given to Marymound North’s program co-ordinator Penny Benton.
According to Tennenhouse, Benton came to her three years ago and pitched the idea of moving into a bigger space, since the number of people using their services had tripled in size after taking on the “Babies’ Best Start” program in 2012.
“Penny had a vision of what this place should be and what it should look like,” said Tennenhouse at the Sept. 19 grand opening. “And with the help of her staff they designed what the needs were for ‘Futures’ and ‘Babies’ Best Start.’”
After the ribbon cutting ceremony wrapped up around 11:10 a.m., the 30 or so guests on hand, including Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle, were invited to take a tour of the 3,000-square-foot facility.
Not only is this new location bigger, but Benton also told the Thompson Citizen that they’ve streamlined their programming so this new centre can serve as a one-stop shop for Thompson parents wanting services and/or support.
These services include, but are not limited to, pre- and postnatal education, dental care, lunch services, support groups, foster care and youth outreach, all of which are available free of charge.
“So whether you are working with Child and Family Services to come here to get parenting programs, if you want to improve your parenting on your own, or you just want a safe place to come and hang out and spend time with your children and meet other parents, that is what this centre is all about,” said Benton.
Marymound North has been a presence in Thompson since the early 1980s and has set up shop in several locations throughout that time, including 125 Commercial Place and the North Centre Mall.
However, despite all these recent changes, Benton said their overriding mission statement remains the same.
“When you become a parent, you don’t get a manual,” she said. “Our programs are designed to work with you to help enhance the skills that you currently have.”
For more information on Marymound North’s programs and services, please visit their Facebook page (Futures/Babies Best Start-Marymound) or the “Services in Thompson” section of Marymound’s official website.