Brantford City Council accepts OMSSA Local Champions Award 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria Visocchi, Director, Communications & Community Engagement 
Phone: 519-759-4222 

BRANTFORD, ON – In 2016, the City of Brantford proudly partnered with the Grand Erie District School Board to launch the Major Ballachey Hub – a customized community space in the lower level of the Major Ballachey Public School, complete with a learning commons, meeting space, certified kitchen, and a separate entrance that allows for day-time and after-hours programming without disruption to school operations.

Over the first year of operation, the Major Ballachey Hub provided an entry point for more than 7300 participants accessing over 25 different support services and programs, with 61% reporting that they had accessed this service for the first time because of ‘location’ or ‘ease of access.’ In addition, nearly 500 individuals have been referred from this Hub to partner agencies for additional supports. The space was designed to facilitate a wide range of community programming, and was centered on the idea that schools are uniquely positioned to support the needs of neighbourhoods and school families by acting as a central hub for parenting information, referrals and social services.

Others outside of our community are also taking notice of the benefits of this unique Hub space. Earlier this year, the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) honoured Brantford’s Major Ballachey Hub as a recipient of the 2017 Local Champions Award during the OMSSA Leadership Symposium held in Toronto on May 29-30. The achievement recognizes “excellence in human services integration and service system management.”

The OMSSA award was formally presented to Brantford City Council at their meeting Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

The Major Ballachey Hub, along with other programming innovations including the Neighbourhood Learning Series, Neighbourhood Changemakers Program, Digital Hub Spaces and Micro-Hubs, have combined to support over 6000 residents in the past year through a variety of educational, wellness and recreational programs.

The ongoing success of Brantford’s Neighbourhood Hub Program is a result of the combined efforts of staff from Public Health, Safety and Social Services and Community Programs and Recreation working together to improve services, and the quality of life for residents living in priority neighbourhoods.