Flemingdon Community Support Services (FCSS) is a grassroots group of BIPOC women who live in the Don Valley East NIA communities of Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Park. FCSS is committed to building a strong and vibrant Flemingdon Park community. FCSS came together in 2013, originally as FUFC (Flemingdon Urban Fair Committee) and was incorporated as a Not-For-Profit organization in June 2016. FCSS has many local community partners including Flemingdon Health Centre (FHC), Flemingdon Park Ministry (FPM) and Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO) agencies. FCSS has also worked in collaboration with the City of Toronto, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT), Play by Nature, McConnell Foundation Access to Healthy Food, Better Living, Go Green, Toronto Community Housing (TCH), Friends of Flemingdon (FOF), Friends of Angela James Arena (FAJA), Ryerson University, Park People, Toronto Arts Council, Toronto Arts Foundation, , Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and Action for Local Impact. FCSS as a local community group has done an immense amount of park programming since its inception in 2013. Since 2016, when the Arts in the Park program was launched, FCSS has worked every year in collaboration with the Toronto Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Foundation, Park People, the City of Toronto and professional artists assigned to Flemingdon Park to host the Arts in the Park programs in Flemingdon and RV Burgess Parks. After seven years of doing this, we would now like to support local artists to participate in the program. We feel this will build the profile of local artists and help arts programs be more entrenched in the community and become a greater part of the community offerings at other times of the year as well. Objectives and Goals:
1. To work for positive transformative change in the lives of Flemingdon Park residents, focusing on the needs of the large immigrant and refugee community struggling with issues of poverty, isolation, unemployment and precarious employment.
2. Engaging community members to access healthy and culturally appropriate food, provide supports leading to employability, providing workshops for leadership development and to develop social enterprise initiatives.
3. Workshops and activities to raise health awareness: CPR, Healthy eating and information on preventing diabetes, detoxification for health and wellness, Zumba exercise sessions, a community walking program during Covid, awareness and screening for colon cancer, stress management, development of self-esteem, conflict management.
4. To advocate for the community by working collaboratively with other resident groups to lobby for capital improvements to area facilities to improve access to recreation and community development. Work has been done to submit funding applications and lobby for Section 37 funds to be spent on community assets.
5. Nature and stewardship initiatives: Annual Community clean-up events, green space awareness events such as ravine walks in the Don Trail
6. Community engagement: Annual Special Events in Flemingdon Park and Valley Park Middle School green spaces feature area agency information and provide economic development opportunities for local vendors to showcase their products and services. Events have featured local entertainment, children and family activities, bike clinics and bring community residents together.
7. FCSS has participated in Arts in the Park events since its inception in 2016 every year in collaboration with the Park People, Toronto Arts Foundation and Local Artists.