A newly awarded grant worth $20,000 is set to help youth with autism across the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
The Penticton-based OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre has received a $20,000 contribution from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation’s Interior and Northern BC Community Board. The funds are set to build on the centre’s work with children who have autism and other social communication challenges.
“OSNS feels so fortunate for the opportunity to collaborate with TELUS to support youth with emotional and social communication needs,” said Heather Miller, executive director at the centre.
Youth with autism currently have access to a program called LINK@OSNS, which teaches the interaction skills needed to succeed in peer groups.
Funds from the grant will go back to LINK to Success, an extension of the aforementioned program that helps motivate at-risk youth to gain the social skills they need to be successfully employed and provides an education series for employers on having individuals with autism in their workplaces.
“We’ve heard from our charity partners about the challenges young people with autism experience,” said Shanan Spencer-Brown, executive director of the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation. “We are honoured to be able to support the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre with a donation of $20,000 from the TELUS Interior and Northern BC Community Board.”
In 2022 alone, representatives from the foundation say more than $10.6 million in grants were provided to charities across the country.
The OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre is now among the more than 30 organizations in B.C. Interior to be awarded with funds from the grant in 2023.
The Penticton centre has helped children across the region with developmental challenges since 1978 and delivered more than 100,000 hours of program services last year.