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Working for Change receives funding boost to support people with mental health challenges

May 9, 2019

GUELPH, ON, May 9, 2019 /CNW/ - As part of its commitment to help build more resilient, healthy and sustainable communities across Canada, The Co-operators has renewed its partnership with Working for Change, donating a total of $90,000 over three years to support employment and training opportunities for people marginalized by mental health issues.

Working for Change, located in Toronto, operates five social enterprises, including the College Street Café at 250 College and the Out of this World Café on Stokes Street.  Both are situated in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) buildings. Through its social enterprises, Working for Change offers a supportive working environment for individuals who identify as having mental health issues.

"Having a place to work is an important part of the recovery process for people with mental health and addiction issues," says Joyce Brown, Executive Director of Working for Change. "With the help of funding from The Co-operators, we're able to provide meaningful, flexible employment that gives people a sense of purpose, helps destigmatize mental illness and contributes to the local economy and community."

In 2018, The Co-operators Foundation - Community Economic Development (CED) Funds granted a total of $549,000 to 23 organizations, providing economic opportunities to marginalized youth and individuals with mental health challenges.  A complete list of funding recipients is included in the 2018 CED Annual Report.

"Working for Change is an inspiring organization doing incredible work to strengthen the resiliency of the community it serves," says Barbara Turley-McIntyre, Vice President, Sustainability and Citizenship at The Co-operators. "We're proud to support them and their efforts to address social issues and make a positive difference in people's lives."

The Co-operators also released a video today featuring Working For Change and the positive community impacts achieved through its programs.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $41.7 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit

About The Co-operators Foundation – Community Economic Development (CED) Funds
The CED Funds support community economic development initiatives that lead to job creation and/or enhanced employability for marginalized youth and persons with mental health issues. Since 1995, The Co-operators has disbursed over $7.1 million to 162 charities, non-profit organizations, social enterprises, and co-operatives. The organization also helps address environmental and social challenges through impact investing. In 2018, the organization expanded impact investments within its $12.5 million investment portfolio and began deploying invested assets toward smaller-scale community impact investments. At the end of 2018, 71 per cent of the portfolio was invested in impact and community impact investments that contribute to more resilient, healthy and sustainable Canadian communities.

About Working for Change: 
Working for Change (originally called the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses) is a charitable organization established in 1994 to provide training and employment opportunities for people marginalized by mental health issues. Since then, the organization has expanded considerably and now operates five social enterprises, in addition to pre-employment training programs and a speakers bureau which provides public education on issues related to poverty, mental health, homelessness, violence against women and newcomer/refugee challenges.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Julie Trites, Communication Consultant, The Co-operators,

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