An autism centre will be built in Williams Lake in the upper level (upper left in the snow) behind the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre on Second Avenue North say Community LIving BC's Cathie Durfeld (left) and CDC executive director Nancy Gale (right).

CDC and TRU team up to open autism centre

Thanks to a generous donation from the John Gordon Autism Foundation of Vancouver the CDC will build an autism centre in Williams Lake.

Thanks to a generous donation from the John Gordon Autism Foundation of Vancouver the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre will build an autism centre in Williams Lake.

The centre will be built by the next intake of Thompson Rivers University Residential Construction Program students through a partnership with the Williams Lake Construction Association, School District 27 and the CDC.

“We have a second tier off the back lane of our centre where we’d like to create a house-like space that is custom designed to do the work that we already do with kids with autism,” CDC executive director Nancy Gale said Thursday.

Design for the facility would include a large living room, family room and a large commercial country kitchen.

“Families could come to work with our staff and their autistic children,” Gale explained.

Dr. Ray Sanders, executive director of TRU Williams Lake campus, said the university is happy to include CDC in its partnership group for the RCP program.

“The WLCA, SD 27, and TRU are excited to be able to offer this hands-on experience for future carpenters,” Sanders said.  “Partnering is the key to being successful in all of our endeavours,” Sanders said, adding the students will build the autism centre from the ground up.”

The centre will serve as the large project portion of the course and provide students with some of the best experience possible before entering into the carpentry trade.

The RCP program is one of the most hands-on programs offered at TRU. Students spend 70 per cent of their time working on construction projects.

Through a family connection, Cathie Durfeld from Community Living BC in Williams Lake, approached the John Gordon Autism Foundation for funding.

“They told me they wanted to put some money outside of Vancouver,” Durfeld said.

Immediately Durfeld and Gale put their heads together, decided to “think big,” and asked for capital funding.

“They loved the idea,” Gale said. “The board supported the idea unanimously and on Nov. 18 I received a hand-written cheque for $96,000.”

That amount will represent 60 per cent of the total project cost, she added.

Presently two CDC staff members are trained to work with autistic children. Originally there were 11 children in the program, but after the staff members were trained, the number grew to 30.

Gale anticipates that the centre will become a hub for the north, while Durfeld added the foundation’s money is supporting a project that will go a long way in helping meet the needs of autistic people in Williams Lake.



Just Posted

More than 75 golfers tee off at annual WLGTC 2 Lady Classic

Visiting players account for more than half the field

Dr. Glenn Fedor honoured with lifetime achievement award

Early in his career, Dr. Fedor provided GP anesthesia, maternity care and emergency medicine.

UPDATE: River Valley fire started at location of homeless camp

“Fire is out,” Peterson said. “Cause is undetermined but was in the location of a camp.”

CCCTA pleased with marketing efforts

The new three per cent accommodation tax collected since May 2018 totals $674,000

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read