WOODSTOCK, ON –  Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Woodstock & District (BBBSWD) and its neighbouring agency Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ingersoll & Tillsonburg (BBBSIT) are excited to announce their union into one county-wide organization.

The amalgamation, as the new Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oxford County (BBBS Oxford), will mean improved services and increased programming in all areas of the county for many years to come. Collectively, Big Brothers Big Sisters has provided life-changing mentoring experiences in Oxford County for 50 years.

Leadership from both agencies agreed that by sharing resources they are stronger together. Children and youth will be better served in all communities, the agency will be more financially efficient, and have a stronger presence and unified voice in Oxford County.

“The amalgamation of BBBSWD and BBBSIT to become a singular countywide agency was a logical next step for both agencies at this time. By doing so, it will allow us to extend ourselves out even further into the county to reach even more volunteers, donors and children who need us,” said Board of Directors President Drew Fallowfield. “The dedicated staff and volunteers of this organization already make such an impact in the lives of the kids they work with that it will be exciting to hear the stories of even more matches.”

The organizational changes will not affect existing clients, volunteers and donors, who can now seamlessly access service at any of the three BBBS locations in Oxford County.

All staff retained their positions in the united agency. Kristen Ralph, who served as Executive Director in Woodstock, will continue in her role as Executive Director for the new county agency. Ingersoll’s Executive Director, Deb Landon, is assisting and supporting Ralph during the transition until her retirement in September 2019.

Ralph, said the two organizations have already been working closely together for many years through shared services and promotion and look forward to officially working as a county agency.

“It’s an exciting time for our movement in Oxford County and with the support of our funders and members we are able to realize this dream. Through the entire process the children and youth were our number one priority, and each decision made was to benefit them,” said Ralph.

It is anticipated that with the amalgamation, BBBS Oxford will provide empowering mentoring opportunities to close to 1,000 local children and youth by the end of 2019.

Historical Highlights: 

  • In 1969 Woodstock & District Big Brothers Association was incorporated, with Ingersoll and Tillsonburg forming their own associations between 1975 and 1983
  • In the 90s, the national Big Brothers Association granted permission to serve the needs of girls, thus forming local Big Sisters agencies that later merged with Big Brothers
  • 2001 Ingersoll agency expanded service delivery to Tillsonburg and area after BBBS in Tillsonburg dissolved in 2001
  • 2009 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Woodstock & District celebrated 40 years of mentoring
  • 2018 Ingersoll and Woodstock organizations began talks to discuss collaboration
  • 2019 Application made to merge two organizations in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oxford County

 About Big Brothers Big Sisters in Oxford County (BBBS Oxford): This year, Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrate 50 years of mentoring in Oxford County. Collectively since 1969, BBBS Oxford has been making a positive difference in the lives of local youth by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring programs. BBBS Oxford believe in helping children realize their full potential through life-changing relationships with positive role models that inspire and empower them, as individuals and citizens.

For more information, please contact:

Kristen Ralph, Executive Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters in Oxford County
519.537.6404
kristen.ralph@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca

Deb Landon, Transition Advisor
Big Brothers Big Sisters in Oxford County
519-485-1801
deb.landon@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca