Walk right in: renovations to Family Centre ensure better, safer service

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Kate Aley

Better than a new welcome mat, a shining floor now greets visitors to the Maison de la Famille in Quyon, thanks to funding from the Ministère de la Famille. A new epoxy surface was poured last week, creating a seamless floor running though out the reception area, the Clothing Counter, kitchen and laundry.

This kind of floor is highly resistant to spills as well as being non-slip, heat and water-resistant and very durable. The surface is also resistant to bacteria and germs making it much easier to clean and keep hygienic. 

The new floor at the Maison dramatically brightens up the Clothing Counter.

​Executive Director of the Maison Catherine Beaudet is delighted by the improvement. "The previous floor surfaces were mismatched and old," she explained. "We needed a make-over to not only freshen up the place, but make it more suitable for the people who use the Maison. It's brighter and nicer and much better for families."

The book, video, DVD and housewares section at the Maison.

The Maison is also pleased to announce that the Clothing Counter is now open on Saturday, adding to the regular hours from Monday to Thursday.

"We really wanted the Counter open on a weekend for the people who can't get there on a weekday," said Beaudet. "The people that work, the people with families at school... Plus, when people come and shop with us, they get to know the other services we offer. [There are] a lot of our other programs we could be open to having on a Saturday."

The children's clothes and toy section of the Maison is always well stocked.

Beaudet gives the example of the back-to-school service, which has been difficult for some parents to access in the past due to their work hours. Income tax services are also now offered on more days of the week. Likewise, emergency access to the food bank is now more flexible with the Saturday hours.

"We can better improve many of our services to the community by being open on Saturday," she said.

Executive director Catherine Beaudet (left) with Pontiac community gym project manager Rachelle Dinelle.

Another good news story from the Maison de la Famille Quyon is the imminent creation of a local fitness center, the Pontiac Community Gym Center (Centre de Conditionnement Physique Communautaire de Pontiac). "It's still coming, it's a big project," said Beaudet. "We wanted to secure all of the funding for the equipment before we opened so everything is complete and ready to go."

Project manager Rachelle Dinelle was delighted to receive 15 submissions for the gym logo, which has been finalized by a volunteer graphic designer and can be seen on their Facebook page. Dinelle was hired as project manager to help create the gym and will stay on in the role of coordinator to ensure continuity.

"The Facebook page for the gym gained 100 'likes' within 24 hours of being launched," she said. "This is important for us, to be able to show sponsors of the project that there is community support. The gym committee is planning a fundraiser in the next few months but this goes beyond finding funds. This kind of support also shows people are willing to pitch in and help. There is the feeling this is "our" gym."

"We are interested to see the long-term impact of the gym on the town," Dinelle continued. "We are reaching out to all ages and we are excited at the response. This encourages better community interaction. We already have several people volunteering to help clean and set up the site and also to be helpers and coaches in the gym."

The committee intends to install a large screen TV in the gym so members can play an exercise DVD to help create or support new exercise classes, such as Pilates or yoga. 

"We hope to create a feeling of empowerment, to help people feel they can try something new," said Dinelle. "We want to keep people motivated to keep coming back. It is going to be the same sensation as at the Maison; [knowing that] that people from across the community are involved and friendly and willing to help."

"I get goosebumps just thinking about it," added Beaudet.

The future site of the Pontiac Community Gym Centre, 1099 Clarendon Street, opposite the United Church and the Post Office in Quyon.

The Maison de la Famille/Quyon Family Centre is at 1074 Clarendon Street, Quyon.

Open Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Need help or information? Go to Facebook or call 819 458 2808.

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