Since 1978, 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre has been supporting single parent families across Greater Victoria.
Trevor Tuckwell is the Administrative Coordinator for the non-profit. “We have a lot of free services for single parent members. We have a free clothing room, free counselling, free parent coaching, we have food, we have toys and books, including parenting books, as well as educational programs for anyone in the community.”
The Centre also gives children backpacks each year.
“This year we did about 230 backpacks full of supplies for our members. We also do a Christmas hamper program,” Tuckwell explains.
1Up is run by just three staff and one contract employee.
“We do have some funding from the government that we apply for each year, so that allows us to offer free counselling, and some of our educational programs.”
Organizations such as the Victoria Foundation also support 1Up. And, as Tuckwell points out, the Centre has “a lot of single parents who become volunteers as well, as so they actually help us make the Centre run. And of course, we accept money and donations from the community.”
One of those community donations is happening in Saturday, November 16, when the Victoria Jazz Orchestra will perform at the Alix Goolden Hall on Pandora Avenue, with all proceeds to the Centre.
“I was a single parent for years, and it’s not that easy,” says Monik Nordine, head of the Orchestra, and principal organizer of the fundraiser. “These people are the only organization I’ve come across that really help people in a tangible way. They support children and families, and that is something that we all [in the orchestra] feel really strongly about.”
The Victoria Jazz Orchestra will be joined by Maria Manna for the concert, titled A Christmas Carol.
“She’s going to sing some of her Natalie Cole, and she’s going to sing some of our Christmas material, and so it’s just a nice blended concert like that. We’re really happy to be working with her.”
1Up Single Parent Resource Centre is grateful for the support.
“Very grateful!” says Tuckwell. “We appreciate the fact that someone like Monik takes the time and the energy to put on these events. She recognizes that we’re a unique organization here in Victoria and that we really do need the support, and all the support we get goes straight to our single parent members.”