More than a year in the making, the renovations at the Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services are officially complete. The LSAS opened its doors to the community in an open house, for residents to learn about what they do and what they have to offer.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with Deputy Mayor Aaron Buckingham, City Councillor Glenn Fagnan, Fred and Lilly North from the Fred North Charitable Foundation, LSAS CEO Tammy Shopland and LSAS Board Chair Shane Schneider. Carly Pollard is the LSAS public education coordinator, says the renovations help house a number of services the LSAS can offer to help those seeking help find comfort.
“We are very much based on meeting our clients where they’re at. So giving that opportunity for them to access to different styles of support is really important, and also having that available to everyone in our community,” says Pollard.
Pollard says the renovations help to create a space that feels warm, inviting and safe, so survivors of sexual assault can begin a journey of healing. Among the new additions include a teen room for youth survivors to unwind and get comfortable before sessions. The room was updated through donations made by a Coldwell Banker City Side Realty, the 100+ Women Who Care and the Rotary Club of Lloydminster.
The North Ryken Enhanced Services is also a new space for the LSAS. It houses services like trauma-informed yoga, and in-house workshops for subjects like boundaries and consent. The Little Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre is also complete to provide the Border City with support for children, youth and families impacted by abuse. Pollard says these services are all a welcome step forward from the renovations to improve what the LSAS has to offer.
“The whole part of the renovation process is that it has allowed us to expand our services, and also house those new services, and be able to offer more support to our clients and anyone in the community, really.”
The renovations have been in the works for nearly eighteen months. Now that the LSAS has completed them, Pollard hopes the community will be more open to coming and seeing what they have to offer. She adds that u
“It is amazing, the support we get from community members, to help us provide those services. Being able to offer as much as we can to our community and provide those safe spaces and provide services that allow people to feel comfortable talking about sexual violence, or even seeking that support. It goes back to meeting them where they’re at; without our community partners, some of the safe spaces we’re able to create are impossible without them, truly.”