A retired Peterborough doctor and nurse have donated $227,000 to Five Counties Children’s Centre — one of the largest donations ever received by the charitable organization serving children with special needs in the greater Kawarthas region.
The donation from James and Sheila Ryan will help reduce wait times for children’s treatment services like speech and occupational therapies. According to a media release from Five Counties, the donation will benefit more than 280 children in the Peterborough region.
“We are extremely appreciative of the Ryans for their incredibly generous gift that will help us provide more life-changing treatment to more children and youth in our community,” says Five Counties CEO Scott Pepin. “The additional challenges presented by the pandemic have highlighted the critical need for our services, so these funds will help us to reduce wait times and ensure kids and their families get the treatment they need when they need it.”
Both of the Ryans worked in a hospital setting before retirement — James as a physician and Sheila as a pediatric orthopedic nurse — and understand the importance of early detection, assessment, and treatment to help children get the care they need.
“Prompt treatment can bring amazing results, and we trust that this gift will be able to assist in reducing wait times for local families who need treatment,” the couple says. “Helping children access physical, developmental, and communication support programs is integral to help them build confidence, independence, and inclusion to reach their full potential.”
In recognition of the Ryans’ donation, Five Counties will rename the waiting area at its Peterborough location after the couple.
Five Counties Children’s Centre provides speech, physio, and occupational therapies along with other treatment services for children and youth up to the age of 19 in Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, and Haliburton. Services are provided through the organization’s locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg, Campbellford, and Minden, as well as in area schools and other venues in the community.
According to Five Counties, the organization served more than 6,200 children and youth in the greater Kawarthas region in the past year — the highest number of clients in its nearly 50-year history.