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Centre de pédiatrie sociale de Laval celebrates a decade of changing lives

Social Pediatrics Centre marks its 10th anniversary this autumn

This autumn, staff and parents who are part of the community at the Centre de Pédiatrie Sociale Laval will be celebrating something very special – the 10th anniversary of the non-profit children’s health and social services centre.

The Centre de Pédiatrie Sociale Laval provides activities and care to children in the surrounding community. The centre contributes to the overall development of children and adolescents with developmental, social or health problems in disadvantaged areas.

It also promotes the interests and rights of children and their families. Its mandate is to offer, in a living environment integrated into the community, interdisciplinary health services to a vulnerable clientele that is at odds with the current service network.

10 years of helping

Every day for the past 10 years, according to the centre, vulnerable children in Laval have benefited from the support of the centre’s doctors, volunteers and caregivers. Working as a team with parents, the dedicated staff create a circle of caring around each child.

To mark this important milestone in its history, the centre is launching a fundraising campaign. The campaign aims to promote the centre’s mission while raising $100,000 to help meet the growing demand for its services.

Despite having only one doctor, one educator and one psychoeducator when it opened in 2011, the centre now has a multidisciplinary team of four doctors and eleven clinical professionals deployed in three service points.

Me Jean Marius Mottet, president of the board of directors from the beginning, said he is delighted with the remarkable evolution of the centre.

“When we see the children and families we have been helping for all these years, and the impact that the centre’s team has on them, there is no doubt that the recipe is a winner,” he says.

In 10 years, the Centre de Pédiatrie Sociale Laval has improved the well-being of more than a thousand Laval residents in extremely vulnerable situations. This represents close to 30,000 interventions, each aimed at supporting the growth and development of the child.

Diver becomes spokesperson

Many Laval residents may be unaware of the small miracles the Centre de Pédiatrie Sociale is performing to change lives on a daily basis. In order to remedy this situation, the organization has found a major ally to increase its visibility: Olympic diver Meaghan Benfeito.

“Meaghan Benfeito has given us the immense honour of being the godmother of our 10th anniversary,” said Mylène Du Bois, the centre’s executive director. Meaghan’s reputation as an athletic achiever is well deserved. A three-time Olympic medallist in diving and a gold medallist in the 2021 FINA World Cup, she is widely regarded as a true inspiration for young people.

“Having spent part of her youth in Laval and being passionate about early childhood, in addition to being a model of perseverance, there is no doubt that she is the ideal spokesperson for our cause,” adds Du Bois.

According to the centre, Meaghan gladly agreed to partner with the Centre de Pédiatrie Sociale to highlight the work and services offered to Laval youths from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“The end of an Olympic cycle is always an opportune time to reflect on our professional aspirations,” says Benfeito. “And it is with young people, children and teenagers that I wish to pursue my second career when my sports career will be completed.

In 10 years, the Centre de Pédiatrie Sociale Laval has improved the well-being of more than a thousand Laval children in extremely vulnerable circumstances

“Participating in the promotion of the centre was therefore a natural choice for me. I wish to contribute to the influence of this essential work and thus contribute to the well-being of my community.”

Financial help needed

In spite of all these accomplishments, however, the Centre de Pédiatrie Sociale is currently struggling to support all the children who need help. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, the pandemic and the containment measures exacerbated the difficulties experienced by the centre’s clientele.

However, without the centre, these children are even more vulnerable, says the Centre de Pédiatrie, and the worst may yet be in store for their health and development. As such, more than ever the mission of the centre is essential.

“The need to expand our facilities in order to adequately meet the needs of the children is one of our most pressing issues,” says Du Bois, adding that with more financial resources, the centre could help hundreds more children in neighbourhoods where the centre is not yet present, such as in Saint-François and in Laval-Ouest.

In order to pursue its mission, the centre is inviting Laval residents to be part of a caring community that takes care of its children.

Donations can be made by visiting the website cpslaval.org. “We are investing in the wealth of our society: our children,” says Me Mottet.

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