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Toronto, June 12 (Canadian-Media): Toronto Mayor John Tory recognized five local safety projects at the Mayor's Community Safety Awards, at Toronto City Hall, on June 10, media reports said.
"Congratulations to the winners of the Community Safety Awards," said Mayor Tory. "We recognize and celebrate your leadership and the dedication you've shown to building safe communities in Toronto."
Tory was joined, said the News release report, by Inspector Chris Boddy, Community Response Unit Manager, Toronto Police Service and Lena Demarco, Regional Director, Community Affairs, Bell Canada.
A cheque for $1,000 from Bell Canada, a long-time sponsor of the awards, was given to each winner in honour of their work for improving safety in Toronto.
"This is a great opportunity to showcase the work happening in neighbourhoods across the city," said Inspector Boddy. "We're all responsible for safety in our communities, and these projects have made a wonderful contribution."
The winners of the Mayor's Community Safety Awards were:
Aboriginal Walkabout Program: In this program three police officers with several elders from Toronto's Aboriginal community walk along Yonge Street and its adjacent laneways, alleyways and parks to report and prevent negative behaviours that can impact local businesses. Officers and elders encourage the Aboriginal community along the way while engaging them in conversation. With this approach members of the Aboriginal community are motivated as they see elders collaborating with police toward a common goal of keeping people safe.
Ephraim's Place: This program concentrates on residents of Jane-Sheppard communities in providing youth with programs and services to impart skills for their secured and future success. The program also brings positive personal changes and in community transformation. The program’s Project HEARTcore, is a free after-school program for youth from Grades 9 to 12 to encourage them to help others and get involved in positive ways.
Support and Knowledge for Young Women (SKY): This project enhances awareness around sexual violence and provide support in healing. Youth learn skills around negotiating consent and healthy relationships. It also provides a safe space for disclosure and counselling. Participants learn valuable skills and knowledge to navigate difficult situations and gives them access to supportive community resources and services.
Chalkfarm Safe Walk Program: Local parents and volunteers, in this program, escort local children to Chalkfarm Public School in the morning and back home or to local community programs in the afternoon. The program serves to build relationships between residents with local service providers as well as with teachers at the school, Toronto Police Service and others.
Surveillance of the Body: A Public Drawing Class For Body Conscience LGBTTIQQ2SA Youth: This project, traditionally associated with commercial art and design practices, serves to reach LGBTTIQQ2SA youth who often feel left behind or isolated.
It also provides a platform to teach them to build positive self-image, be in control of their minds and their bodies, and to combat violence aimed towards them. It creates safe space for growth and contributes to the development of young leaders and the peers that support them.
Following two projects that received honorary mentions were also recognized at the event.
The Forgiveness Project: This project was created to teach youth about forgiveness and conflict management. The project ultimately became a book series and a travelling art exhibit working with people affected by crime, including perpetrators, and discusses motives of forgiveness.
Impact 'N Communities Violence Intervention Ambassadors Project: The Violence Intervention Ambassador Project (VIA), through training and workshops, teaches young people to develop leadership skills and tools needed in dealing with violence in their communities and their neighbourhoods.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of John Tory: Twitter