The Maison de la Famille de St-François brings families out of their isolation, creates support networks, fosters positive parent-child relationships, facilitates childhood development, and helps parents grow in their role. After receiving support from this agency, Vicky Blanchard got involved to promote its mission and benefits.
She started by doing hands-on tasks and helping out during special events or at the drop-in centre with children who have particular challenges and who need individual support.
She has gotten even more involved over the years and started working on bigger projects that have an impact on families and the development of the Saint-François neighbourhood.
In 2011, she joined the board of the Maison de la Famille and is involved in projects such as “La Voix des parents” to implement consultation sessions for Saint-François families on the community's needs, for example, regarding park development or the lack of sidewalks for pedestrians.
Ms. Blanchard is very involved in food security in the neighbourhood. For example, she runs collective kitchens, hands out food to families in need, and cooks meals for the Coopérative de Solidarité St-François en Action. She also sits on the Comité des Cuisines collectives de Laval, for which she has been the official representative with the Regroupement des cuisines collectives du Québec since 2014.
Ms. Blanchard, a mother of six, cares a great deal about the academic success of neighbourhood youth. This is why she is also involved with the advisory committee for services to students with disabilities and students who have behaviour or learning problems. On this committee, she works to:
- Improve access to more services for the parents of children with learning problems.
- Help these young students integrate better at school.
- Improve their quality of life and self-esteem.
She also spends time helping students with their homework so that they get better grades and can improve their self-confidence.
Ms. Blanchard’s varied involvement makes her a dedicated citizen who has an impact on the entire Saint-François community.
Vicky Blanchard is the winner ex-aequo of the 2018 Solidaires Citizen Involvement.
The Solidaires Citizen Involvement is awarded to a person or group of people who have shown outstanding volunteer involvement and leadership at a community agency or neighbourhood roundtable.