GIRLS CLUB supporters (left to right): TELUS Community Board member Josh Dueck, Girls Club Chapter Director Bree Cawley, TELUS Community Board Member Brangwen Mooney

Moms start GIRLS CLUB for disabled kids

A movement started in the Lower Mainland has spread to the Kelowna and Okanagan areas

A new resource has recently opened in the Okanagan for young girls with disabilities.

GIRLS CLUB, a social group for girls who have any type of neuro/developmental differences, received an early Christmas present this week, with the announcement that they received a $9,000 grant from the TELUS Thompson Okanagan Community Board.

GIRLS CLUB was launched in the Lower Mainland in February this year by a mom with a daughter diagnosed with autism.

More recently the Okanagan chapter was opened up by a mom with a daughter with a brain disorder. The club now has over 130 members across the two locations and awareness is quickly growing about this new resource for girls with disabilities.

Membership for GIRLS CLUB is free, and no drop-in or participation fees are charged for the meetups

“Up until now we have been 100 per cent self-funded—just two moms with a dream to see our daughters form friendships with other girls,” stated Bree Cawley, chapter director. “With receiving a TELUS Community Board Grant some of the financial burden is removed. We can move forward with expanding the reach of GIRLS CLUB and connecting with families who have girls who could benefit from attending our meetups.”

This fully-inclusive group welcomes GIRLS of all abilities, levels of independence and ages. Activities at the meetups include theme parties, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, listening to music, and just hanging out and having fun. In addition, scheduled activities and outings within the community are on the agenda for the new year.

“The foundation of the group is based on the belief that all children wish to connect and form meaningful relationships with others,” said Cawley. “Providing on-going opportunities for kids/teens who might otherwise find it more challenging to make friends is one way to help foster these relationships.”

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