News and Events

Parachute Safe Kids Week, brought to Wellington County by Safe Communities Wellington County, is an annual campaign to raise public awareness of child safety issues, and encouraging community involvement as part of the solution. Parachute Safe Kids Week 2023 takes place May 29 to June 4, 2023, with hundreds of communities holding events across Canada. This year’s messaging focussing on car seat safety and knowing the safety rules to keep your children safe from harm. This year we will be at The Mapleton Farmers Market, and Victoria Park in Fergus. Look for us at a couple of your Wellington County Library branches too. Car crashes are a leading cause of death and injury to children in Canada. Children are well protected and less likely to be severely injured when the right car seat, booster seat or seat belt is used on every ride. Using the right car seat in the right way can reduce the risk of injury by up to 82 per cent and risk of death by up to 71 per cent. When installed and used correctly, car seats save lives. A Canadian roadside study found that 99 per cent of kids were buckled but 73 per cent of car seats were used or installed incorrectly; 30 per cent of kids in booster seats did not meet the legal weight minimum; and 52 per cent of kids in seat belts did not fit safely without a booster seat.

Safe Communities Wellington County and the Wellington County OPP partnered to create an informative video educating residents of Wellington County on how to remain safe driving your Off-Road vehicle (ATV, ORV, Dirt Bike) on Wellington County Roads.  Be in the Know Before you Go!  Visit the Safe Communities Wellington County YouTube page to view the video.

All-terrain vehicles (ATV’s), also known as quads, are powerful machines that require strength and skill to operate.  Riding safely and responsibly can help prevent serious injury and death on these vehicles.  On average, there are 100 ATV-related deaths in Canada each year with half of those deaths involving alcohol or drugs.  With the by-law change across Wellington County, our off-road vehicles are now driving on Wellington County Roads.  Taking an ATV training course is highly recommended.  Check out Canadian ATV Safety Institute for courses near you.

Did you Know?

  • 85 per cent of victims in ATV-related deaths are male
  • Most ATV-related deaths result from a rollover or flip.  Other top collisions include collision with other vehicles or objects and being ejected from the vehicle.
  • Half of ATV-related deaths involve alcohol or drugs.

A few rules you need to know…Before you go:

  • Always wear a licensed helmet
  • Always have your lights on
  • Always wear gloves and goggles
  • Always have your drivers license and registration available (You must be 16 years of age to ride on Wellington County Roads)
  • Always be plated
  • Always check with your Town or Township to determine additional rules specific to your municipality

On Wednesday, July 5, 2023, Safe Communities Wellington County will celebrate the seventh Parachute National Injury Prevention Day in Canada to raise awareness about the devastating effects of predictable and preventable injuries. Our goal: to educate others and help all Canadians live long lives to the fullest.

Parachute’s National Injury Prevention Day (NIPD) is a day to raise awareness around the importance of injury prevention and aid Canadians to live long lives to the fullest through education and advocacy. Health Canada recognizes this date as an official national Health Promotion Day.

This year we are urging all of our municipalities across Wellington County to proclaim July 5, 2023 as National Injury Prevention Day. 

Check with our social media and News and Events Page on what we will be up to on National Injury Prevention Day.

Wellington County, October 5, 2023 – Safe Communities Wellington County (SCWC) will hold its 9th annual Safe Communities Day on October 5, 2023 to a virtual audience of  grade 5 students from across Wellington County. Wightman Telecom has agreed to create safety videos with our partner organizations across Wellington County and the Guelph area. 

Students will have the opportunity to speak to a number of safety professionals about their jobs and how they keep Wellington County safe.  

Special thanks to all of the organizations who make Safe Communities Day possible. 

  • Falls Prevention Action Group
  • Guelph Eramosa Physiotherapy
  • Guelph-Eramosa Fire Services
  • Centre Wellington Fire Services
  • Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services
  • Wellington County OPP
  • Wellington County Emergency Management

For the full list of safety videos from 2022: 

Safe Communities Wellington County and Parachute Canada urge teens to #KnowWhatImpairedMeans and help save lives

Wellington County, October 2022– Distracted driving among teens is a major concern. Road crashes are the third-leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24 in Canada. Safe Communities Wellington County partnered with Parachute Canada for National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), which took place October 16 to the 22nd, to create positive behaviour changes to reduce injury rates among teens.

Parachute National Teen Driver Safety Week is an annual public awareness campaign. This year, distracted driving was the primary focus; and messaging to teens will also address , impaired and aggressive driving, including speeding. Safe Communities Wellington County and Parachute are calling on all teens to tell them that #Drivingtakes100.

Some key facts:

  • Distracted driving is a factor in 15-19 per cent of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers
  • Some teens believe using cannabis would make them a better driver – This is false!
  • Speeding is a factor in one third of teen driver deaths
  • According to a recent survey, 96 per cent of Canadian drivers would stop driving distracted, if a passenger asked them to

“Young people make up just 12 per cent of licensed drivers, but account for about 20 per cent of all road-related injuries and deaths,” says Christine Veit, Program Coordinator, Safe Communities Wellington County. “Through NTDSW and community initiatives like our Positive Ticketing Blitz, we are encouraging young drivers to think about risks and responsibility, and why they should choose to make safety their no.1 priority.”

New this year to National Teen Driver Safety Week, Safe Communities Wellington County partnered with driving schools catering to Wellington County youth to expand the message to an even greater audience.  We visited all four Wellington County High Schools. 

Mayor Gregg Davidson participated VON SMART Exercise Class in Drayton wearing his no limits t-shirt in Support of Falls Prevention Month in November. Gregg’s t-shirt was perfect for the class as all the participants are going beyond those ageist beliefs that frailty is inevitable. All the exercisers are over 55 years of age, many of them in their 80’s and 90’s. November is Falls Prevention Month which highlights, “We all have a role to play”.

Falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented. The best way to prevent falls, or the injury from falls, is to exercise.

Exercising will reduce the residual affects of falls. The stronger the body is, the less likely one will sustain injuries.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall”

– Confucius

Visit your Family Health Team across Wellington County to pick up your “Rise Up to Falls” exercise booklet. 

Bell Let’s Talk Day is on January 25, 2023 Please join Safe Communities Wellington County and our partners to End The Stigma and Start a Conversation!

Bell Let’s Talk funding supports organizations large and small in communities nationwide.  They have partnered with more than 1,300 organizations providing mental health supports and services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities, local community service providers and other care and research organizations.

There are five simple ways to end the stigma and start a conversation:

  1. Your Words Matter
  2. Educate Yourself
  3. Be Kind
  4. Listen and Ask
  5. Talk About It

Learn More


What is Wellington County Doing?

Through a partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), CMHA clinicians are working alongside Police Officers to assist in real-time with, calls involving those in crisis. The Program is called IMPACT (Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team). 2017 saw a record number of requests for service. In total, 586 calls were received with 431 individuals being served through the program. Clinicians attended a total of 289 live calls with police with 207 individuals not requiring a trip to an Emergency Department. Individuals were instead connected with services and supports that could better serve their needs. This is an extraordinary 73% diversion rate which permits the reinvestment of health, paramedic, and police services to address other important tasks.


A camp serving people with disabilities called to say a camper was having behaviours that could pose risk or harm to other campers, staff and themselves. This camper also had significant medical issues that could be complicated by emergency service intervention. The officer responding asked IMPACT to assist in coordinating a response. IMPACT called the campers parents, who advised that the individual could not be returned home and the individual did not have a home address to return to due to his very complex needs. IMPACT learned that the camper had recently been in a hospital unit for medical needs. The hospital was called and IMPACT was advised that the camper could indeed return to their facility. Police and IMPACT together coordinated with EMS to transport the individual to the hospital already familiar with them. IMPACT attended the camp and the camper was calmly taken by ambulance back to the hospital where their needs could be met and risk could be managed. Police stood-by in case of violence, and all was accomplished in a very safe, supportive way, with the individual agreeing to each step of the plan.

Wellington County Safe Communities Falls Action Group is working to raise awareness on steps you can take to reduce your risk of a fall. When watching television, avoiding a fall seems easy, with the advice of “just don’t fall”. Regardless of how educated you are about falls prevention, how good your balance is or how strong your muscles are, you can still experience a fall. When a senior, who is in good physical condition, falls, the impact of that fall is often reduced, and they are able to remain independent. Falls are the #1 cause of injuries to seniors. The fear of falling is real and can make seniors less confident and result in a reduction in their physical activity levels. As a result, their gait and balance deteriorate. This puts them at an increased risk of falling; which is exactly what they were trying to avoid in the first place. It is important to keep moving and to exercise.

Ernie Read. A 90-year-old resident of Mount Forest, participates in the Boosting Balance Program offered by the Mount Forest Family Health Team. He has been attending the weekly group since 2018 and feels that it has had a positive impact on his mobility and balance. Ernie had a fall three months ago, luckily, he was able to get up independently and was not injured. He attributes this positive outcome to exercising regularly – he attends Boosting Balance weekly and also enjoys walking outside with his walking poles. Ernie would also like to encourage those who are exercising alone to always wear a whistle as it is an inexpensive way to attract attention if help is needed.

Seniors in Wellington County are lucky to have access to the VON SMART exercise program. This exercise program is FREE. Kelly Gee, VON SMART Exercise Coordinator, and member of the Safe Communities Wellington County Falls Action Group, says “Exercise is the universal prescription to pretty much everything! Frailty is not inevitable, in fact, it is reversible. It is never too late to start exercising.”

Sue Hodgson, a participant of the VON SMART exercise program shares her fall story. While out with a friend at a restaurant, a hot beverage was overturned. In an effort to get out of the way, Sue quickly moved away from the table forgetting the step to their booth, and fell. This fall could have resulted in a life changing injury, but Sue who has been attending the SMART exercise program 2-3 times per week was able to walk away with her independence intact. Sue’s fitness level contributed to her resilience to injury and she was right back exercising the very next day. Exercise increases bone density, reducing the risk of a fracture.

The COVID-19 vaccine dashboard data is refreshed weekly on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and reflects totals as of approximately 8:30 a.m. on the day of the refresh.

For up to the minute updates

Learn how to focus on promoting young people’s strengths!

Safe Communities Wellington County has been partnering with Lions Clubs of Canada and Lions Quest Canada to bring an amazing workshop to Wellington County. Already, we have brought together organizations and over 100 people across Wellington County to learn the 40 Problem Solving Skills Young People Need to Succeed.

This workshop will help you promote self reliance, independence, and ultimately, success in life for the young people in your life.

Workshop Highlights & Agenda:

  • Understand the “Ripple Effect” and identify where you can do your part
  • Commit to making a difference
  • Learn how your simple, everyday actions can have an impact
  • Shift from focusing on young people’s problems to promoting their strengths

Our next workshop. Date To Be Determined.

This series promotes education and awareness about Opioids and Mental Health.

Kitchen Table Talk – Opioids 101

During this Kitchen Table Talk, attendees had the opportunity to learn about opioid and naloxone truths from frontline workers and people with lived experience. This Table Talk is in cooperation with Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy.

Naloxone Training & kits will be provided.
If you are interested in bringing this Kitchen Table Talk Series to your community within Wellington County, please contact [email protected].

Kitchen Table Talk – Mental Health

Partnering with the Canadian Mental Health Association and The Suicide Awareness Council of Guelph Wellington, Safe Communities Wellington County’s Intentional Self Harm Group has created a Kitchen Table Talk on Mental Health. Real People – Their Stories – Creating Conversation Around Mental Health and Well Being through Guided Discussions. Our Spring Kitchen Table Talk focused on Death by Suicide and Sucide Attempt Survivors and the impact & journey’s people have taken afterward.