(Above: Wellness Centre Coordinator Chris Kelly)
The Causeway Wellness Centre has recently re-opened after a lengthy period of renovation. Returning clients will see an eye-opening transformation, including new equipment, a more expansive space, and a fresh colour scheme.
Many of the changes to the Centre have been made in an effort to create a larger and brighter exercise area. Wellness Centre Coordinator, Christopher Kelly, says the goal was to expand the gym to meet the needs of the more than 100 clients who use the equipment each month to achieve their fitness goals. The wall separating the office and main gym has been pushed back to increase the square footage available to house the equipment. The Centre has also been repainted and new glass doors have been installed to bring more light into the exercise area.
Other changes to the facility include the leveling of the floor and the installation of a climate control system. New weight training machines have also been purchased for the gym.
The renovations to the gym were made possible by a generous donation by Willem Van Iterson. Mr. Van Iterson donated the funds in memory of his wife Sue, who was involved with Causeway in the early years. It was felt the donation would be best spent if it was put it towards the improvement of the Wellness Centre, as Sue Van Iterson was a big advocate of health, nutrition, and physical fitness.
(Above: Sue Van Iterson)
Although the Wellness Centre does not fall under the category of Causeway’s primary focus of employment, it is a vital part of the services Causeway provides to its clients. Participants in Causeway’s programs use the facilities at the gym to get in shape for physically-demanding jobs, and exercise is essential for everyone to manage stress and alleviate depression. As Mr. Kelly explains, physical activity and good mental health go hand-in-hand. The social benefits are important as well. For some clients a visit to the Wellness Centre is one of the few times they get out of the house during the week and the Wellness Centre provides a vital opportunity to interact with others.
The Wellness Centre will be renamed the “Sue Van Iterson Wellness Centre” in recognition of Mrs. Van Iterson’s many years of commitment to supporting Causeway in its efforts to help persons living with a mental illness. The official reopening is planned for May to coincide with Mental Health Awareness month. The Van Iterson family will be at the event to cut the ribbon.