ROC Youth Services to receive $50,000 in Trillium grant funding

ROC Youth Services executive director Darlene Thompson. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)




The ROC just won $50,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund.

Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, joined Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, Neil Lumsden,  to announce the grant on 3 August. It will fund and implement a volunteer recruitment plan as well as a staff wellbeing and retention strategy.

According to ROC executive director Darlene Thompson, more volunteers will aid staff in managing programs and services that are already over capacity.

“More professional development opportunities will equip staff to provide exemplary service to youth participants and ensure their own positive mental wellbeing,” Ms. Thompson said. “An employee wellness plan will help to attract, retain, and support qualified staff.”

The OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund was created during the pandemic to help organizations to recover and to build capacity, resilience, and sustainability. Non-profits can apply for grants for projects that develop new approaches to generate revenue, start new activities, adjust strategies, or plan for future challenges.

Those applications are evaluated by a team of volunteers.

MPP Smith noted the ROC offers a well used and highly regarded drop-in centre with programming for local teens. 

“The ROC not only provides recreation, but academic support, mentorship and connections to services,” said MPP Smith. “Last year, it had over 6,500 visits and connections. The people really make the centre and do tremendous work on behalf of our community.” 

The ROC OTF grant was part of a larger, three organization funding announcement worth $282,500. Since its inception, the Resilient Communities Fund has supported 3,048 projects across Ontario with $268 million in funding. The latest round of funding supports 295 organizations with a $31-million investment.

The Regent Theatre won a two year, $200,000 grant to develop a film festival, while the 173 Royal Tiger Air Cadet Squadron at CFB Trenton was awarded $33,000 for a new music program and STEM activities. The goal is to help increase cadet’s self-confidence and community involvement.

“The Royal Tigers will receive expanded learning opportunities, such as flight simulation, music training, and using drones and rocketry,” said squad Captain Captain Darius Soo Lum. “The Cadet Program offers teens aged 12-18 exciting, fun, and challenging experiences at no cost to their families.”