2013 Frances Lankin

Social Planning Toronto
2013 Frances Lankin
Community Services Award

 Social Planning Toronto is pleased to announce that the Frances Lankin Community Service Awards for 2013 will be presented to Rob Howarth, and posthumously to Colin Hughes and Charlotte Maher

 Rob Howarth

As Executive Director of “Toronto Neighbourhood Centres” for the past fourteen years, Rob has supported and led thirty-five neighbourhood centres, large and small, downtown and in the inner suburbs, so that they are all connected to larger public policy issues that affect their communities.  His work with TNC supports the collective capacity-building and policy efforts of this association.  Rob has been an active participant in a number of multi-stakeholder initiatives, including the City of Toronto’s Social Development Plan (2001) and Community Partnership Strategy (2010) and the Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force (2005).

He has been engaged in province-wide initiatives, serving as a Steering Committee member of both the Ontario Non-Profit Network and the Community Social Services Campaign, promoting the value of a more robust and intentional relationship between the Ontario government and the province’s non-profit sector.  He played a strong leadership role in the Commitment2Community campaign over the past two years, helping win important victories for the community sector at City Hall.

Through this work and his engagement in community research, facilitation, and mobilization, Rob has helped to articulate the challenges and opportunities facing Toronto’s non-profit community sector, and has been a passionate, effective advocate for related reforms.  His interest in the various ways in which community members and non-profit stakeholders can be supported to play a central role in creating a more equitable and inclusive society has inspired many of his colleagues to greater efforts to engage diverse communities in an active role in city-building in Toronto.

Colin Hughes

Over more than twenty-five years Colin has participated in community-building as a Community Worker with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.  In this role, and as a volunteer, Colin created a proud legacy of contributions benefitting children and families, including local program development, civic and parent engagement, social planning and research, social action, advocacy and policy reform.  Colin believed in social justice and creating equitable policies and services and he ‘walked the talk.’  He was a principled, passionate and skilled leader, engager, mobilizer, researcher, mentor, collaborator and creative force within CAS Toronto and in the community.

Colin was a key contributor to Campaign 2000 over the years, representing CAS Toronto.  He provided research support, edited and co-edited many child poverty report cards at both the Toronto and Provincial levels.  Colin authored “Greater Trouble in Greater Toronto,” with input from several GTA Social Planning Councils.  This report highlighted the alarming growth of child poverty in the GTA, and received tremendous media coverage.   Colin has also been a significant leader and supporter in advocating for a nationally and provincially funded system of quality, licensed, non-profit child care to support the development of children.  He has been a tremendous asset to the field of child care with his effective policy development and advocacy interventions in partnership with the Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

Colin worked with dozens of coalitions, networks and organizations over the years, including parent-led groups such as the Parent Action Group.  He helped to mentor and to build leadership, skills and experience. Prior to working in Scarborough, he worked in North York and the former City of Toronto. Colin carried out important work in those communities to build sustainable local community infrastructure and resident and parent capacity.  Most recently Colin was involved with the Scarborough Civic Action Group, Scarborough Anti-Poverty Coalition and many other community organizations including: Social Planning Toronto, West Scarborough Community Legal Services, Scarborough Arts Council, and Agincourt Community Services.

Charlotte Maher

Until recently Charlotte went to work every day as a volunteer (Vice Chair) for Care Watch, an advocacy organization that aims to improve quality of life for seniors.  This commitment as a volunteer spoke to her dedication and reliability and was a significant accomplishment for any volunteer, let alone a woman who was in her 89th year.

Charlotte led by example and was an inspiration to all for her dedication and her abiding enthusiasm to work for change to improve quality of life in her community and in society. She made tremendous contributions to the neighbourhood and settlement movement in Toronto working as an Interim Executive Director no less than 48 times for a myriad of community and social service organizations, including Central Neighbourhood House, Volunteer Centre of Metropolitan Toronto, Sistering, SPRINT, St. Christopher House, St. Stephen's Community House, Macaulay Child Development Centre, and Youth Without Shelter. She also served as a Public School Trustee for eight years on the Toronto Board of Education, and worked at the Social Planning Council from 1969 to 1974.  Charlotte was a member of various groups and committees at Toronto City Hall, including her more recent work on the City of Toronto`s Senior Strategy Subcommittee and on the former seniors advisory panel for the Toronto Central LHIN.

She served with distinction on many Boards of Directors including Central Link, Upper Yonge Village Day Care (Chair), SPRINT (twice, including once as Chair), Central Eglinton Community Centre, POINT, YWCA of Metro Toronto (Vice-President), Sherwood Park Residents' Association (Chair), Women in Transition, Metro Meals on Wheels, Anne Johnston Health Station, and Ewart Angus Homes.  Charlotte was an agent for change; she played a pivotal role in helping found Care Watch as well as P.O.I.N.T, Central Eglinton Community Centre, the Upper Yonge Village Day Care, the Sherwood Park Residents Association, and SPRINT.

Charlotte truly believed in the power of community. She advocated for true community engagement and for seniors’ voices to be heard and respected by policy makers and service providers, particularly in decisions that affect seniors’ lives. Her vision was for seniors to be engaged in their communities and to make a difference throughout their lives. Charlotte was a tremendous example of this.

The Award Presentation

The 2013 Frances Lankin Awards will be presented at a reception on Thursday April 18 at the YWCA Elm Centre.  For more details, and to purchase tickets, go to http://2013franceslankinaward.eventbrite.ca, or contact Mary Micallef at 416 351-0095 x 251.  We are delighted that ASSOCIUM is again the lead sponsor for his event.

The Frances Lankin Award

The Frances Lankin Award was established in 2011 by Social Planning Toronto on the occasion of Frances Lankin’s retirement from United Way Toronto.  It is awarded annually to an individual who has made a significant, sustained contribution to the non-profit community sector in the City of Toronto.

For more information on the award, contact John Campey, Executive Director, Social Planning Toronto at 416 351-0095 x 260 or jcampey@socialplanningtoronto.org.



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