FICS celebrates serving Flamborough for 40 years

WhatsOn Nov 14, 2017 by Dianne Cornish, Special to the Review Flamborough Review

After 40 years, Flamborough Information and Community Services continues to play a vital role in the community, providing information and referrals to social agencies to a growing population.

While some might be inclined to believe that an information service wouldn’t last long in “the era of Google,” Flamborough Information and Community Services (FICS) executive director Amelia Steinbring said last week, “The data doesn’t bear that out.” Records show that the number of phone calls and drop-ins at the Waterdown-based agency are increasing.

In fact, they are on the rise, partly because of new people moving into the area, but also because of the strong rural population in Flamborough that often isn’t comfortable using a computer or lacks ready access to the internet.

The multi-service, nonprofit agency has grown and flourished with the support of countless volunteers, service clubs such as the Rotary, Lions and Optimists and many community partners, including the Hamilton Public Library, the United Way and the Flamborough Review.

“FICS is where it is today because of good people in the community giving of their time and expertise,” said Jeanette Jamieson, who recently retired from the group’s board of directors after 20 years of service. Steinbring and former executive director Shelley Scott agree.

“The strength of the organization is the partnerships that have been developed and bringing people together,” Scott said. Community support is essential because FICS is a charity and is not fully funded, Steinbring explained.

Next Wednesday (Nov. 22), a 40th anniversary open house will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Flamborough Seniors’ Recreation Centre in the Waterdown library. There will be a cake-cutting, a salute to volunteers, speeches from local dignitaries and an opportunity to vote on a new logo for FICS. Special presentations will be made to Jamieson and Barry Roberts, another longtime volunteer of the organization.

“Anybody who wants to come can come,” Steinbring said, adding that she expects to see many volunteers, board members, community partners and clients at the festivities.

An electronic retrospective display focusing on the history of FICS prepared by summer student Laura Piro will be featured. It consists of a collection of newspaper clippings showing highlights of the organization from 1977 until the present-day.

Founded after community consultation showed there was a need for a community information and referral service, FICS was housed, in its early years, at Memorial Hall and at 15 Mill St. S. In 1999, the organization moved to Chestnut Grove at 315 Dundas St. E. then relocated to the former Flamborough Municipal Services Centre at 163 Dundas St. E. in 2002, remaining there until 2011 when it moved to the Millgrove library while the new Waterdown library was constructed on the site in 2016.

Over the years, FICS has played a leading role in starting a number of services in the community — including legal aid, income tax clinics, debt credit counselling, addiction and family counselling and the sexual health clinic — that are now run by other organizations. “A lot of services that we brought in are sustainable,” Scott said, noting that assessing community needs and facilitating social services for them is part of the FICS mandate.

FICS has also been active in providing senior and youth services, including the bus program that takes seniors grocery shopping every two weeks and Youth Employment Services (YES), which helps match young people looking for summer jobs with local businesses. In addition, in partnership with the Flamborough Review, it publishes a comprehensive community guide every year. The guide, listing Flamborough organizations, businesses and contact numbers, is an invaluable resource for area residents.

Scott, who joined FICS in 1996 and retired in 2016, said the Hamilton Public Library has taken FICS on as an umbrella organization and has been a great support over the years. The library donates space for the FICS office and provides IT support free of charge.

Other organizations that have helped FICS include the United Way, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Hamilton Community Foundation, Ontario Sports and Recreation, the Ministry of Seniors Affairs and the City of Hamilton. The city provides about 30 per cent of the organization’s funding, with the remainder coming from government grants and donations from businesses, service clubs and individuals.

“It’s an ongoing struggle to get funding,” Steinbring acknowledged, adding that a lot of people think FICS is a city service and don’t know it is a charity dependent on donations. “It’s important for the community to step up and support us.”

Turkstra Lumber in Waterdown has helped in recent years by providing space for weekly summer barbecues that have raised upwards of $2,000 per summer for FICS, but a bigger fundraising event is needed to cover the organization’s operating costs, Steinbring said.

Steinbring, who became executive director of FICS in April 2016, said the organization recently obtained a grant from the province to promote senior volunteerism in Flamborough. A volunteer fair will be held in February to support this initiative and FICS will also launch a Flamborough Senior Volunteer of the Year Award in 2018. Other upcoming projects include redevelopment of its website and rebranding, which involves a review of all of the organization’s communication lines.

Looking further down the road, Jamieson said she expects FICS will still be part of the fabric of the community 40 years from now. “It’ll change and evolve, but it should be here because it’s a community thing.”

FICS celebrates serving Flamborough for 40 years

Community invited to Nov. 22 event

WhatsOn Nov 14, 2017 by Dianne Cornish, Special to the Review Flamborough Review

After 40 years, Flamborough Information and Community Services continues to play a vital role in the community, providing information and referrals to social agencies to a growing population.

While some might be inclined to believe that an information service wouldn’t last long in “the era of Google,” Flamborough Information and Community Services (FICS) executive director Amelia Steinbring said last week, “The data doesn’t bear that out.” Records show that the number of phone calls and drop-ins at the Waterdown-based agency are increasing.

In fact, they are on the rise, partly because of new people moving into the area, but also because of the strong rural population in Flamborough that often isn’t comfortable using a computer or lacks ready access to the internet.

The multi-service, nonprofit agency has grown and flourished with the support of countless volunteers, service clubs such as the Rotary, Lions and Optimists and many community partners, including the Hamilton Public Library, the United Way and the Flamborough Review.

“It’ll change and evolve, but it should be here because it’s a community thing.”

“FICS is where it is today because of good people in the community giving of their time and expertise,” said Jeanette Jamieson, who recently retired from the group’s board of directors after 20 years of service. Steinbring and former executive director Shelley Scott agree.

“The strength of the organization is the partnerships that have been developed and bringing people together,” Scott said. Community support is essential because FICS is a charity and is not fully funded, Steinbring explained.

Next Wednesday (Nov. 22), a 40th anniversary open house will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Flamborough Seniors’ Recreation Centre in the Waterdown library. There will be a cake-cutting, a salute to volunteers, speeches from local dignitaries and an opportunity to vote on a new logo for FICS. Special presentations will be made to Jamieson and Barry Roberts, another longtime volunteer of the organization.

“Anybody who wants to come can come,” Steinbring said, adding that she expects to see many volunteers, board members, community partners and clients at the festivities.

An electronic retrospective display focusing on the history of FICS prepared by summer student Laura Piro will be featured. It consists of a collection of newspaper clippings showing highlights of the organization from 1977 until the present-day.

Founded after community consultation showed there was a need for a community information and referral service, FICS was housed, in its early years, at Memorial Hall and at 15 Mill St. S. In 1999, the organization moved to Chestnut Grove at 315 Dundas St. E. then relocated to the former Flamborough Municipal Services Centre at 163 Dundas St. E. in 2002, remaining there until 2011 when it moved to the Millgrove library while the new Waterdown library was constructed on the site in 2016.

Over the years, FICS has played a leading role in starting a number of services in the community — including legal aid, income tax clinics, debt credit counselling, addiction and family counselling and the sexual health clinic — that are now run by other organizations. “A lot of services that we brought in are sustainable,” Scott said, noting that assessing community needs and facilitating social services for them is part of the FICS mandate.

FICS has also been active in providing senior and youth services, including the bus program that takes seniors grocery shopping every two weeks and Youth Employment Services (YES), which helps match young people looking for summer jobs with local businesses. In addition, in partnership with the Flamborough Review, it publishes a comprehensive community guide every year. The guide, listing Flamborough organizations, businesses and contact numbers, is an invaluable resource for area residents.

Scott, who joined FICS in 1996 and retired in 2016, said the Hamilton Public Library has taken FICS on as an umbrella organization and has been a great support over the years. The library donates space for the FICS office and provides IT support free of charge.

Other organizations that have helped FICS include the United Way, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Hamilton Community Foundation, Ontario Sports and Recreation, the Ministry of Seniors Affairs and the City of Hamilton. The city provides about 30 per cent of the organization’s funding, with the remainder coming from government grants and donations from businesses, service clubs and individuals.

“It’s an ongoing struggle to get funding,” Steinbring acknowledged, adding that a lot of people think FICS is a city service and don’t know it is a charity dependent on donations. “It’s important for the community to step up and support us.”

Turkstra Lumber in Waterdown has helped in recent years by providing space for weekly summer barbecues that have raised upwards of $2,000 per summer for FICS, but a bigger fundraising event is needed to cover the organization’s operating costs, Steinbring said.

Steinbring, who became executive director of FICS in April 2016, said the organization recently obtained a grant from the province to promote senior volunteerism in Flamborough. A volunteer fair will be held in February to support this initiative and FICS will also launch a Flamborough Senior Volunteer of the Year Award in 2018. Other upcoming projects include redevelopment of its website and rebranding, which involves a review of all of the organization’s communication lines.

Looking further down the road, Jamieson said she expects FICS will still be part of the fabric of the community 40 years from now. “It’ll change and evolve, but it should be here because it’s a community thing.”

FICS celebrates serving Flamborough for 40 years

Community invited to Nov. 22 event

WhatsOn Nov 14, 2017 by Dianne Cornish, Special to the Review Flamborough Review

After 40 years, Flamborough Information and Community Services continues to play a vital role in the community, providing information and referrals to social agencies to a growing population.

While some might be inclined to believe that an information service wouldn’t last long in “the era of Google,” Flamborough Information and Community Services (FICS) executive director Amelia Steinbring said last week, “The data doesn’t bear that out.” Records show that the number of phone calls and drop-ins at the Waterdown-based agency are increasing.

In fact, they are on the rise, partly because of new people moving into the area, but also because of the strong rural population in Flamborough that often isn’t comfortable using a computer or lacks ready access to the internet.

The multi-service, nonprofit agency has grown and flourished with the support of countless volunteers, service clubs such as the Rotary, Lions and Optimists and many community partners, including the Hamilton Public Library, the United Way and the Flamborough Review.

“It’ll change and evolve, but it should be here because it’s a community thing.”

“FICS is where it is today because of good people in the community giving of their time and expertise,” said Jeanette Jamieson, who recently retired from the group’s board of directors after 20 years of service. Steinbring and former executive director Shelley Scott agree.

“The strength of the organization is the partnerships that have been developed and bringing people together,” Scott said. Community support is essential because FICS is a charity and is not fully funded, Steinbring explained.

Next Wednesday (Nov. 22), a 40th anniversary open house will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Flamborough Seniors’ Recreation Centre in the Waterdown library. There will be a cake-cutting, a salute to volunteers, speeches from local dignitaries and an opportunity to vote on a new logo for FICS. Special presentations will be made to Jamieson and Barry Roberts, another longtime volunteer of the organization.

“Anybody who wants to come can come,” Steinbring said, adding that she expects to see many volunteers, board members, community partners and clients at the festivities.

An electronic retrospective display focusing on the history of FICS prepared by summer student Laura Piro will be featured. It consists of a collection of newspaper clippings showing highlights of the organization from 1977 until the present-day.

Founded after community consultation showed there was a need for a community information and referral service, FICS was housed, in its early years, at Memorial Hall and at 15 Mill St. S. In 1999, the organization moved to Chestnut Grove at 315 Dundas St. E. then relocated to the former Flamborough Municipal Services Centre at 163 Dundas St. E. in 2002, remaining there until 2011 when it moved to the Millgrove library while the new Waterdown library was constructed on the site in 2016.

Over the years, FICS has played a leading role in starting a number of services in the community — including legal aid, income tax clinics, debt credit counselling, addiction and family counselling and the sexual health clinic — that are now run by other organizations. “A lot of services that we brought in are sustainable,” Scott said, noting that assessing community needs and facilitating social services for them is part of the FICS mandate.

FICS has also been active in providing senior and youth services, including the bus program that takes seniors grocery shopping every two weeks and Youth Employment Services (YES), which helps match young people looking for summer jobs with local businesses. In addition, in partnership with the Flamborough Review, it publishes a comprehensive community guide every year. The guide, listing Flamborough organizations, businesses and contact numbers, is an invaluable resource for area residents.

Scott, who joined FICS in 1996 and retired in 2016, said the Hamilton Public Library has taken FICS on as an umbrella organization and has been a great support over the years. The library donates space for the FICS office and provides IT support free of charge.

Other organizations that have helped FICS include the United Way, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Hamilton Community Foundation, Ontario Sports and Recreation, the Ministry of Seniors Affairs and the City of Hamilton. The city provides about 30 per cent of the organization’s funding, with the remainder coming from government grants and donations from businesses, service clubs and individuals.

“It’s an ongoing struggle to get funding,” Steinbring acknowledged, adding that a lot of people think FICS is a city service and don’t know it is a charity dependent on donations. “It’s important for the community to step up and support us.”

Turkstra Lumber in Waterdown has helped in recent years by providing space for weekly summer barbecues that have raised upwards of $2,000 per summer for FICS, but a bigger fundraising event is needed to cover the organization’s operating costs, Steinbring said.

Steinbring, who became executive director of FICS in April 2016, said the organization recently obtained a grant from the province to promote senior volunteerism in Flamborough. A volunteer fair will be held in February to support this initiative and FICS will also launch a Flamborough Senior Volunteer of the Year Award in 2018. Other upcoming projects include redevelopment of its website and rebranding, which involves a review of all of the organization’s communication lines.

Looking further down the road, Jamieson said she expects FICS will still be part of the fabric of the community 40 years from now. “It’ll change and evolve, but it should be here because it’s a community thing.”