Our History in Colchester, Nova Scotia
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester started in 1978. We started out matching Big Brothers and Big Sisters with Little Brothers and Little Sisters and have since grown to include a variety of different programs that serve both boys and girls. We are proud of our achievements and continue to strive to be on the leading edge of the Big Brothers Big Sisters movement in Canada.
In 1977, a group of concerned citizens of Truro and the surrounding area were becoming increasingly aware that more and more children, primarily from one-parent homes, were in need of positive adult guidance and role modeling.
A number of these men and women felt a survey should be conducted and statistics gathered. The results from that survey established that there were in excess of 500 children in the County who were eligible for the service a Big Brothers Big Sisters agency could provide. In late 1977, it was decided to form a Steering Committee.
A number of the men serving on the Committee were Kiwanians. Realizing there would be a need for financial support, they asked their Club for assistance. The members of the Kiwanis Club of Truro agreed to help and a number of fund raising projects were organized.
With the assistance and guidance of Big Brothers of Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dartmouth/Halifax, the Steering Committee evolved into a Board of Directors with Ed Newell, R. S. W., becoming the Board’s first President. In April, 1978, affiliation with Big Brothers of Canada and incorporation under the Nova Scotia Societies Act were applied for and granted.
An Executive Director was hired in June of 1979 and the agency became well established under the leadership and guidance of both staff and Board.
In May of 1982, the agency’s name was changed to include “Colchester” to better reflect the service area.
In October of 1984, the agency purchased the Lakeside Club and began a successful Bingo operation three nights a week which operated for 10 years.
In January of 1996, representatives from the Colchester agency met with the Board of Directors of the Hants County agency to discuss a possible merger which would serve both East Hants and Colchester Counties under one Board.
Under the administration of the Colchester Board of Directors, the doors to the Satellite office in Elmsdale were officially opened on June 1st, 1996. (Note: In 2003, the decision was made to serve both areas from one central office in Truro.)
In 1997, Big Brothers – Big Sisters of Colchester conducted an In-School Mentoring pilot project at Alice St. School, matching its first 6 In-School Mentors. With the success and increasing popularity of In-School mentoring, a part time Coordinator was hired in September of 1998.
In 2000 a bursary program for Littles going on to post-secondary education was started. As of 2017, 20 former Littles have received over $40,000 in bursary funding to support their educational goals.
Life Choices and Right for Me programs were started in 2003.
Two in school programs were added…Go Girls and Peer Mentoring in 2010 and we continue to monitor the needs of youth to meet their needs.