- Wendy Firth
It is fitting that our final 25th anniversary feature interview is with someone who has worked at The Teresa Group for 23 out of our 25 years! Board president, Marcel Watier, sat down with Office Manager, Wendy Firth to ask her about her memories and thoughts about the organisation she
joined in 1992.
MW: Tell us about your involvement with TTG. When you first started being connected with the organization, how it began and how it has grown/ evolved.
WF: I became involved when my children were quite young and I was looking for a part-time job. I saw an ad at the 519 Church St. Community Centre and applied. At that time Penelope Holeton the founder of The Teresa Group was the only employee until I was hired and we both worked part-time. She had just moved TTG out of her basement into a one bedroom apartment. She had the bedroom and I had the living room. We had about three client families and a handful of volunteers. Over the past 23 years we have grown to serve hundreds of children and families.
MW: What is your favourite TTG memory?
WF: I have a few, but the one that springs to mind is helping register the kids going to our overnight camp. To see their excitement and trepidation was amazing, and then when we welcomed them back a week later, to see the friendships they had formed and plans they had for going back the following year. I also have great memories of all the international symposiums I have been lucky enough to attend.
MW: What do you wish other people knew about The Teresa Group?
WF: Penelope felt there was a need to help children and families back in 1990. Since then The Teresa Group has grown to serve hundreds of children and families and has developed ground-breaking programs to meet client needs. With a staff of just seven and some very talented and dedicated volunteers we have created an environment where clients feel safe, supported and welcomed when they enter our doors. I also want to acknowledge those staff who are no longer with The Teresa Group who were such an integral part of this. Because of their passion and commitment we have this strong foundation the agency is built on.
MW: If you had to sum up TTG in one word what would it be and why?
WF: Need. Penelope saw a need that was not being met. She didn’t hesitate to approach Dr. Stan Read at the Hospital for Sick Children to discuss her idea of supporting children and families. The rest is history.
MW: What would you want to tell a family with young children who has been referred to TTG for the first time?
WF: I would tell them they have come to the right place. That they will receive the help and support they need in a safe and welcoming environment.