Lower Mainland Brain Injury Association

November 12, 2008 10:46 ET

BC Government Cutbacks Force Brain Injury Association to Shut Doors

Last Lunch for Survivors this Thursday (Nov. 13) in New Westminster

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor LOWER MAINLAND / BC / NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Nov. 12, 2008) - Struggling without core funding for the past 14 months, the Lower Mainland Brain Injury Association (LMBIA) will be forced to close its drop-in-centre at the end of this week, a day after providing one last lunch for brain-injury survivors.

"It is heartbreaking to see the centre close because there are so many brain-injury survivors who rely on our centre as their primary source for recreation and community," said lawyer and LMBIA president Brad Garside.

Core provincial funding for the New Westminster-based LMBIA was withdrawn by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority in September 2007, after that health authority concluded LMBIA should be funded by the Fraser Health Authority. Since that time, LMBIA's drop-in-centre has relied solely on private fundraising efforts. The association applied for funding from the Fraser Health Authority, but its efforts were unsuccessful.

Without government funding, LMBIA must now close its drop-in-centre rather than abandon its outreach programs. The centre, located at #209 - 88 10th Street in New Westminster, will close its doors on Friday, November 14. It is a devastating blow to the hundreds of brain-injury survivors who drop in to the centre each month from across the Lower Mainland. Lunch has been served at the centre every Tuesday and Thursday.

"I am at the centre each day, and this is not just the closure of a facility, this is the loss of a home and a sanctuary for a family of very vulnerable people," explained LMBIA executive director Gabrielle Martin.

Though community support will enable LMBIA to maintain its outreach programs for now, the association is calling for help and increased funding in order to re-open its drop-in-centre in a new location, as soon as possible.

LMBIA is a grassroots, member-driven organization dedicated to serving individuals and families coping with a brain injury. A registered charity, LMBIA has been operating successfully since 1989. LMBIA organizes and funds support groups for brain injury survivors throughout the Lower Mainland. The association also provides advocacy and counselling services. LMBIA connects people from across British Columbia and Canada through its information and resource referral service.

For more information about LMBIA, go to www.lmbia.org
/For further information: www.lmbia.org / IN: ECONOMY, HEALTH, JUSTICE, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Brad Garside & Gabrielle Martin, LMBIA president & LMBIA executive director, Lower Mainland Brain Injury Association
    Primary Phone: 604-683-1211
    Secondary Phone: 604-521-0833