Executive Director Messages

A Message from our Executive Director – December 23, 2016

I am honoured to write this message as the Executive Director (Acting) of WindReach Farm, while Kelly Jewer is enjoying her maternity leave. I plan on continuing the great work that Kelly has started in leading this amazing organization and team of dedicated staff and volunteers. We will continue to work towards sustainability of our programs and services and improve where possible.

In my previous role as Volunteer and Operations Manager, I have had the opportunity to work closely with many dedicated staff, hard-working volunteers, incredible organizations and amazing visitors, and I look forward to continuing this working relationship in my new role.

As we look forward to 2017, we will have some new changes and opportunities, as well as a continued positive presence in our Community as we strive to serve our clients in our amazing environment at WindReach Farm.
Winter lessons at our indoor heated and insulated equestrian arena are starting up January 9th and will run for eight weeks. We are hoping many of our therapeutic riders, as well as volunteers will be participating in the winter session.

We are excited to announce an inclusive “Acres of Fun – March Break Camp” happening from March 13 to 17 in partnership with Kerry’s Place. This partnership will hopefully lead into a continued partnership for our “Acres of Fun – Summer Camp.” Check back on our website for updates on registration on these camps!

Our Day Visitor program, which is part of our Education and Recreation Services, is getting geared up for some exciting changes for the Spring. Beyond the Farm Gate is happy to come to you during the winter months, just contact us about booking a visit!

Learning 4 Life, part of our Adult Day Program is pleased to add Wednesdays to our regular program days. This program now runs four days a week.
Our Overnight Accommodations still have some availability this winter if you are wanting to book an overnight stay on the Farm.

Our Volunteer Program will be starting New Volunteer Orientations on January 26th and several more will be booked throughout the year. We also have four Community Work Days booked for the spring for students looking to get their community hours for school.

Exciting times are ahead for 2017 and we hope you are able to participate in many of our program and service areas as we strive to inspire, empower and change lives!

Sincerely,
Kelly Taylor, Executive Director (Acting)

A Message from our Executive Director – September 22, 2016

At WindReach Farm, we strive to make the ordinary extraordinary for individuals with special needs and their families and friends. To deliver the best possible experiences for those who depend on us, we rely on our dedicated WindReach Farm staff and volunteers who continuously work in collaboration with visitors, participants, organizations and community agencies to create impactful, life-changing programs and services.

As we embark on the fall 2016 season, WindReach Farm’s core focus will be to continue the growth and development we have experienced within our core programs and services thus ensuring the success and sustainability of WindReach Farm well into the future.  With the introduction of our inclusive Acres of Fun Summer Day Camp this past summer and the completion of the winterization of our indoor riding arena, we have been able to maximize the use of our resources in addition to responding to the ever changing needs of our community.

I look forward with excitement and enthusiasm as we continue to provide the inclusive, barrier-free environment that our visitors have come to love while introducing new and innovative programs and services to inspire, empower and change the lives of those who need it the most.

Sincerely,

Kelly Jewer, Executive Director

Executive Director Message – February 9, 2016

It is with great pleasure that I write to you as the new Executive Director of WindReach Farm, an inclusive facility dedicated to serving the needs of individuals with special needs of all ages and abilities. I am truly honoured to lead the organization at a time when the future is so full of opportunity. Moving forward, my mandate will be clear; financial sustainability and the provision of effective programs and services that make the best use of WindReach Farm’s unique environment.

As the former Program Development Coordinator at WindReach Farm, I had the pleasure and privilege of working very closely with the Farm’s Board of Directors, interim Executive Director, exceptional staff and dedicated volunteers. I bore witness to the wonderful work the organization is doing to inspire, empower and change so many lives in the Durham Region and beyond. Interim Executive Director, Paul Sullivan, and the entire WindReach Farm team have done an incredible job ensuring the quality of programs and services and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a dedicated group of individuals.

Moving forward, WindReach Farm will continue to offer its five main programs including the Day Visitor, Learning-4-Life, Community Participation, Therapeutic Riding and Overnight Visitor Programs, while further developing our agency partnerships to more effectively serve our community.

Maximizing the use of WindReach Farm’s unique environment and resources is paramount to fulfilling our mission while adapting to the ever-changing needs of the population we serve. Our new Beyond the Farm Gate Program is a perfect example where we have responded to our users’ needs by taking the Farm out into the community when such elements as weather and mobility would otherwise be a barrier. Our monthly Open Houses, commencing this spring, will provide a wonderful opportunity for the entire community to enjoy and learn about such topics as sheep shearing, enjoying the natural environment and geocaching.

As I step into this new role at WindReach Farm, I invite you to support WindReach Farm however best meets your needs; visiting and participating in our programs, donating financially or in kind and/or volunteering your time. We need your support and I am confident you will be inspired and empowered.

Sincerely,

Kelly Jewer, Executive Director

Executive Director Message – October 23, 2015

Lately, I often think that many people have almost come to expect WindReach Farm to continue regardless of the amount of public support that it receives.  In many ways, that can be interpreted as a sign of success. But it also presents a challenge.

Well, we have certainly tried to meet that challenge.

But times have changed.

Moving forward, WindReach Farm needs your help more than ever and we promise to continue to value every donated dollar and hour of volunteer time.

This challenge, however, requires more than just our promise. It requires change.   Our plan for the future is to put our efforts and resources into programs and services that we know are needed and that we can sustain. That includes offering our services at specific times of the year when demand is greatest and the accessibility of the Farm can meet this demand safely and efficiently.

It also includes identifying and reaching out to new individuals and groups who could benefit from our programs and services. For example, as of this year, we are the Ontario home of Can Praxis, the organization supported by Wounded Warriors Canada that works with veterans to overcome the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Can Praxis uses horses to help soldiers recover and regain their family relationships.

Another change is our “Beyond the Farm Gate Program”. With the winter presenting transportation and accessibility challenges for many of our groups, this Program takes the Farm out to their schools, nursing homes, long term care facilities and other locations.

We have also reallocated some of our staff resources as well as set new performance standards for our Service and Program Coordinators. The goal is to move towards realizing the full potential of the unique resources of the Farm to ensure;

• Priority for sustainable mission driven outcomes
• Achieving maximum service and program capacities

Earlier this year we updated our strategic plan. This was a wonderful opportunity to look at the past and present to set our goals for the future. And the future, by the way, is now.

Our new vision is simple: 

Inspires, Empowers and Changes Lives.

We realized that we have been doing this for the past 26 years and want to continue.

This vision is brought to life and achieved each and every day at WindReach Farm as we strive to:

INSPIRE to awaken HOPE

EMPOWER to TAKE ACTION

CHANGE LIVES by MAKING DREAMS POSSIBLE

It is also a reflection of the past, beginning with WindReach Farm founder Sandy Mitchell.  Yes, what Sandy created changed many lives.  But, without a doubt, it also changed his life. While he inspired and empowered many, he was also inspired and empowered by these same people he helped. Both an incredible legacy for Sandy to give and an incredible gift for him to receive.

We will once again be at the Royal Winter Fair (November 6-15, 2015) this year and invite groups to get in touch if they would like support while visiting The Royal. Our staff and volunteers are ready to provide assistance with tours and we have access to a quiet space for lunch. Please get in touch with Sara Cosway, our Education and Recreation Coordinator (sara.cosway@windreachfarm.org).

As you think about WindReach Farm, I hope you will feel  good  about your relationship with us and the impact that the Farm has achieved and will continue to achieve. I want you to feel inspired, empowered and that WindReach has changed your life!

Paul Sullivan, Executive Director (Interim)
WindReach Farm

INSPIRE to awaken HOPE. EMPOWER to TAKE ACTION. CHANGE LIVES by MAKING DREAMS POSSIBLE.