Centre changes name to Thrive!

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The Children’s Rehabilitation Centre Algoma is now the THRIVE Child Development
Centre/Centre de développement de l’enfant.

The new brand was officially launched at the organization’s Annual General Meeting last
week.

The announcement is the culmination of a 2-year project that looked to overhaul the perceptions people have of kids with disabilities. The effort was spearheaded by an internal Stakeholder and Community Awareness Committee, composed of staff, board members, and members of the community. The committee spent a great deal of time reaching out to key stakeholder groups to get a better understanding of the existing name and its impact on the way the Centre is perceived, before engaging professionals to help rename the Centre and develop a new identity.

THRIVE Executive Director Susan Vanagas-Cote said that the decision behind the name change was an easy one: “Our former name was long, too often abbreviated, and most importantly carried negative connotations with the use of the word ‘rehabilitation’,” she stated. “Our new name intends to change perceptions of the kids and families we serve, challenging the community to see them not as kids with disabilities, but just as kids. For the children and youth we support, we hope the name inspires them to live their dreams and overcome obstacles they face in their lives.”
Kevin Hemsworth of Fireside Brand Storytelling led the rebranding and naming process, while
Digital Marketing Agency Cavera Inc. handled the creative work, including designing the new logo and website. Bushplane Productions shot and produced a new video capturing the spirit of the centre and the new brand. “Our research showed that it was certainly time to shed the negativity around the word rehabilitation,” said Hemsworth. “The work that the THRIVE staff do is so vital, and they do such a wonderful job helping these kids and their families. It was important to capture that with a positive new image that more effectively tells the organization’s story.”

Anna Rendell, President of the THRIVE Board of Directors, was also part of the committee exploring the name and identity change, and she couldn’t be more happy with the result. “Finally our kids are being represented as the positive young people they are, and our families have an organization they are proud to be a part of,” she said.

The new name was derived from the clinical term “failure to thrive”, which some parents the centre serves have been presented with when it comes to their little ones. “It’s among the worst things a parent can hear and brings about a lot of guilt ,” says Rendell. “Our new name takes back ownership of that word and turns it on its head to make it a positive. It’s quite empowering.”

The name change is effective immediately, and the Centre plans to spread the word about the rebrand throughout the summer with a series of events, including an official opening of a brand new waiting area, donated by the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, and a community barbecue that will see Centre staff, children, youth and families, and members of the local community celebrate the the change.