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The Equality Project: Leveraging Relationships to Support a Community

New Gold’s Community Investment Program reflects our belief that communities should benefit from our operations in both the short and long-term. When approached by Shelley Magwood, Executive and Financial Director of the Equality Project, the Community Investment Committee knew there was a role New Afton mine could play in finding creative and sustainable solutions for the community-centered organization’s most pressing needs. 

The Equality Project, located 70 km west of New Afton in Cache Creek, has a mission to provide people in need with wholesome food, basic essentials, and encouragement. Since 2016 the organization has been supporting vulnerable individuals in a community where there are limited social resources and the need for support is strong. After becoming a registered charity in 2020, in 2021 a building and land was gifted to the organization to expand their operations, but it required significant repairs and updates. In order for the team of forty volunteers to tend to the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of their guests, much needed improvements to their building plumbing and security were needed. The facility had a fairly new hot water tank, but it could not keep up to the sheer mass of dishes volunteers were handling daily, with volunteers often needing to boil large pots of water to keep up with demand. In addition to the capacity challenges, there were safety concerns with the hot water tank located in a room with no drainage and causing a great deal of flooding. Cache Creek’s water supply has a very high mineral content that builds up and damages equipment, which compounded the water issues. Safety wise, the building’s exterior receiving doors for donations were unsecure, with large gap allowing rodents and snow to drift into the building. The door was very difficult to lock and posed a safety concern to their volunteers. 

By leveraging pre-existing relationships built through operations, New Gold’s Community Investment Committee rallied support from Interior Plumbing and Heating (IPH) and Acres Enterprises Limited, who in turn were eager to bring other community stakeholders onboard. IPH’s Project Manager immediately got to work with equipment selections for hot water on demand and water softener, working with Andrew Sheret Limited to get the equipment at heavily discounted prices for the charity initiative and donating their time to complete the installations. Aiden Greer, Project Manager for Acres, reached out to Doortek to get new insulated steel doors quoted while their Director, Kyle Ruppel, immediately stepped up to donate the carpenters time to complete both door replacements. New Afton purchased all the equipment and thanks to IPH and Acres donating the labour, the retrofits were completed in July 2022 and January 2023.  

The Equality Project relies on the help of volunteers and community generosity in order to support vulnerable populations within the Cache Creek region. Find out how you can help contribute by visiting The Equality Project’s website.  

To learn more about New Gold’s Community Investment Program, to review eligibility criteria, or to submit an application, please visit our Community Investment page