Back in the late 50’s if your son or daughter was intellectually disabled, the opportunity for obtaining services was extremely limited in the Campbellford area.
Mrs. Mary Cook challenged this gap and responded to an advertisement in the Toronto Star, which was published by the President of the Ontario Organization for the Mentally Retarded, William Kirk. The article offered support to communities if a need existed for service.
There continued to be correspondence with the President in hopes of gaining information with regards to services, which were available for intellectually disabled children.
At this time, Mrs. Cook also began to submit editorials from the Ontario Organization to the local newspaper in hopes of stimulating additional interest from parents in the community.
In January 1960, as a result of Mrs. Cooks’ efforts, the President of the O.A.M.R. held a public meeting at the Parish Hall in Campbellford. The response was overwhelming with 58 interested people attending the meeting. Information was shared with participants in regards to O.A.M.R.’s services and goals.
In April of 1960, the president of O.A.M.R. William Kirk returned to assist in the formation of the Campbellford and District Organization.
In September of 1960, the Organization undertook their first project; the opening of Merryvale School, which was the first school for intellectually disabled children in Northumberland County. Eleven children from ages 7-16 attended. The students, teas and bazaars raised funds through donations and various fundraising events such as auction sales.
In April of 1966 the Organization purchased the building from Rotary to continue to provide an education-based program.
In January of 1968, the Ministry of Education assumed responsibility for the school’s operation. At that time the Campbellford and District Organization began a Sheltered Workshop for the developmentally disabled adults at the former Bridge Street School. The workshop relocated to Front Street prior to the present location at 27 Doxsee Avenue, which was opened in 1979.
Since this time, the Organization has continued to experience tremendous change and growth in its direction to providing supports and services to people with an intellectual disability. Today the Organization provides services and supports for approximately 140 People throughout Northumberland County.
Special Projects are often in place at any given time as a result of specialized funding arrangements that address an area of need ex: Summer Employment Programs or Specialized Recreational Support Staff Grants.
Community Living Campbellford/Brighton emphasizes the promotion of quality of life for all people. We subscribe to an Outcomes Based philosophy to support services, which his governed by our Mission, Vision, Principles and Values.
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Community Living Campbellford/Brighton 65 Bridge St, E. P.O. Box 1360 Campbellford ON K0K 1L0