Monday, April 28, 2014

Pelham Welcomes Wellspring Niagara

On April 7, Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Wellspring Niagara to provide a permanent home for a much-needed regional cancer support Centre for Niagara residents.

Following Council’s formal approval of the MOU, we took time during the meeting itself to literally “sign, seal, and deliver” the agreement along with Wellspring Board members and staff.

Wellspring Niagara is a not-for-profit charitable organization that offers free social, emotional, psychological and informational support to people coping with the realities of cancer every day. In 2013, more than 6,800 people attended the +30 programs Wellspring provides. The organization receives no government funding and relies entirely on donations from the community it serves. Every dollar raised in Niagara, stays in Niagara. (To learn more about Wellspring Niagara visit

When Wellspring Niagara moved into a 2,000 square-foot plaza in Thorold in 2001, its stay was to be temporary. With Pelham Council’s decision now, 13 years later, the organization has finally found a permanent home.

The MOU provides the framework in which the Town of Pelham will lease up to two acres of land in the East Fonthill area (Rice Road at Regional Road 20) for one-dollar-a-year as long as Wellspring Niagara operates their Niagara Cancer Support Centre there.

Wellspring plans to build up to a 7,000 square-foot facility with room for cancer support programming – including specialized physical programs and cancer rehab, counseling, expressive programs, education programs, a resource lending library, etc. Wellspring hopes to construct a building that looks and feels like a home (instead of an institution).

We understand that the Wellspring Board likes the East Fonthill development because of its central location in the Region, the proximity to natural space (like around a storm-water management pond or parks), to the medical clinic, and to a potential a community centre. (For Wellspring’s presentation to Council, please click here.)

Renewable at twenty year intervals, the land lease will continue indefinitely or until Wellspring ceases to operate the Centre. The MOU outlines how Wellspring will own and operate their building, and will maintain the Town lands, and establishes provisions for fair evaluation of building and land should the lease end. (Review a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), please click here.)

It’s so important for all of Niagara that Wellspring has a new home to continue to provide welcoming and safe supports and encouragement for individuals and families affected by the many challenges that cancer can bring. Council and I are so pleased to partner with Wellspring Niagara by providing the land for their permanent regional home in Pelham!