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RBC Foundation donates $100,000 to YMCA to support newcomers settling in Simcoe and Muskoka

Pictured above from left to right are Don Silveri, Director, Senior Commercial Markets at RBC, Brandon Gorman, Vice-President, Senior Commercial Markets at RBC, Ronda MacPherson, Vice-President, Commercial Markets at RBCJamie Cleaver, Community Manager at RBC, Randy Tredenick, Regional Vice-President, Personal Banking at RBC, Karen Pulla, YMCA Vice President of Health, Wellness and Community Impact, Todd Young, Owner Beach Builders Home Hardware, YMCA Board Chair, Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President for Ontario North & East at RBC, Lisa Cook, YMCA General Manager of Immigrant and Youth Services, Anna Cheaney, RBC Wealth Management, YMCA Capital Cabinet Co-Chair, Laura Kelly, YMCA Vice President of Philanthropy, Dave Hamilton, YMCA Team Leader of Immigrant Services, and Kate Meeks, YMCA General Manager of Philanthropy.

The RBC Foundation has generously donated $100,000 to support the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s efforts to serve newcomers settling across the region. The funds are dedicated to YMCA Immigrant Services to provide new Canadians with a complimentary one-year membership to the nearest YMCA Health, Fitness, and Aquatics facility, as well as supporting the staff role of YMCA System Navigator for a second year.

The goal of this dedicated funding is to increase the overall wellness of newcomers to the region by connecting them to health and wellness spaces within the YMCA, and to help them navigate complicated systems such as the legal, housing, and health care systems in an inclusive and diverse way.

The YMCA System Navigator will help 300 newcomers and their families to work within interdisciplinary teams in hospitals, medical centres, community services, correctional and probation facilities, schools, and in private and public facilities. The YMCA staff will help them manage and navigate complicated and interrelated systems and will be the primary source of communication between the interdisciplinary team and the new Canadians, acting as an advocate and guide.

This is the second year the YMCA System Navigator position has received funding from RBC. “The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s System Navigator program, in partnership with RBC, benefitted close to 200 newcomers across Simcoe County last year,” said Dave Hamilton, Team Leader at YMCA Immigrant Services. “The System Navigator provides extended settlement supports to newcomers as they navigate the settlement process in Canada, including registering for government programs and services, accessing health care services, and connecting to other social services and community groups,” Hamilton added.

YMCA Immigrant Services helps newcomers feel empowered, welcomed, and included in their new communities, says Jill Tettmann, CEO of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. “Newcomers face many obstacles after arriving in Canada, with one of those being understanding and navigating our complex health and social care systems. The YMCA System Navigator assists newcomers and their families in their journey through these systems, providing guidance and empowering them to make informed decisions,” explained Tettmann.

RBC has supported YMCA Immigrant Services since 2019 and has provided nearly $500,000 in support of the local charity. According to Randy Tredenick, Regional Vice-President at RBC, driving more equitable prosperity in our communities is a priority for RBC, making a partnership with the YMCA a natural fit. “The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Immigrant Services plays such an important role in welcoming newcomers to the Barrie community. As more and more new Canadians choose to live in the Barrie area and become active members of the community, the YMCA programs help them connect with their new community, help them feel safe and help them feel at home,” said Tredenick.

“Thanks to the generous support of the RBC Foundation, we can continue empowering newcomers to take an active role in decision-making processes that will have a huge impact on their new lives in Canada while positively impacting their health and well-being,” said Tettmann.

The YMCA System Navigator is available to help newcomers across Simcoe and Muskoka. To learn more about YMCA Immigrant Services, or to book an appointment, interested individuals can call 705-241-2501, or visit the YMCA’s website at

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