The North Island Crisis and Counselling Centre Society (NICCCS) has a new leader at the helm.
On Dec. 1, Nicki Ranger took over as the new executive director for the non-profit following Chris Parker’s well-deserved retirement.
“For more than 30 years, Parker was a core part in bringing the NICCCS to the key service agency that it is today,” said Ranger, who added she’s happy to state that she will be the one continuing on that legacy.
Originally from Victoria, Ranger moved to Port Hardy in 2003 from Campbell River after accepting a social worker position with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. After 19 years of working in various front line and supervisor roles in child protection services, she is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Leadership Studies with Royal Roads University.
Outside of work, Ranger keeps busy in the community with minor hockey and slo-pitch. She is the current President of Port Hardy Minor Hockey Association and as a fire department family, often supports Port Hardy Fire Rescue. Ranger and her husband Chris have raised four kids in Port Hardy, now ages 15 to 21.
As for the NICCCS, it is a well-established community based non-profit agency that began in 1981 as the result of the efforts of dedicated volunteers Gillian Rippendale and Sally How. The society continued to change over the years and has grown into a thriving agency serving families all over the Mount Waddington area.
“NICCCS provides a multitude of professional counselling services, including family counselling, child and youth counselling, and counselling services for women and children experiencing violence and sexual abuse through the PEACE and sexual abuse intervention programs,” said Ranger. “NICCCS also provides women outreach services, victim services and the safe shelter for women and their children fleeing intimate partner violence.”
Ranger noted NICCCS works hand in hand with other North Island agencies to provide services through the withdrawal management program and crisis stabilization program, both at what is commonly known as the Green House. In addition, they provide infant development services, an early years family navigator, supported child development services, and an FASD key worker program for children who require additional developmental support.
Let’s Play Daycare, an early childhood development specialized daycare, and Strong Start Play Group are also operated by NICCCS. Hospice volunteer support, grief counselling and the Better at Home program are run through the society as well as supervised family visits for children and youth temporarily residing in care to remain connected with their families.
As their newest program under development, NICCCS is the lead host agency for the Foundry Port Hardy, the new and exciting centre supporting youth between the ages of 13 and 25 requiring mental health and substance misuse supports.
“The interim site on Market Street is currently beginning renovations and will be opening for some services while the main Foundry site begins construction,” Ranger said. “All services are delivered in a professional, prompt and caring manner and without judgement for all families in the North Island.”
The almost 40 staff members are not only supported by Ranger, but also a governing volunteer board of directors who have a fierce vision to continue to grow the NICCCS well into the next generation. The board is currently seeking volunteers to add to the current dedicated group of board members.
“Supported by the board, NICCCS is one of the best places to work on the North Island,” added Ranger. “Currently, they are seeking to grow and add to their skilled counselling team and are also looking for on-call casual residential workers to assist the Crisis Stabilization/Withdrawal Management Team.”
As the NICCCS is a charitable non-profit agency, community members are welcome to make donations throughout the year to help support some of the important programs they deliver. Most recently, the family support program needed a flooring area replaced in their food service area where children and youth with special support needs can get lunch and snacks after school while they are accessing the program.
“Bob’s Floors in Port Hardy and floor installer Tony Kinley kindly donated both the flooring and the installation to ensure that the children and youth have a new and healthy washable floor area in their food service area,” noted Ranger.
Donations to the agency, both monetary and in kind, go a long way to help the agency provide the best service possible in the many different program areas. For more information on NICCCS, visit www.nicccs.org or call the Center located at 7095 Beverley Parnham Way, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm at (250) 949-8333.
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