Pillar Community Innovation Awards 2019 Finalists

Learn more about our incredible 2019 finalists and their community contributions.


519 PURSUIT –Through a friendship-based approach, 519Pursuit aims to bridge the gaps in our
community by spreading awareness, reducing stigma, building mutual trust, identifying gaps in
service utilization, and alleviating the challenges associated with extreme poverty. They started
this venture with a crockpot of homemade chicken noodle soup that they handed out one cold
evening. Since then, they have successfully captured the hearts of many Londoners and outliers
by creating thought-provoking and captivating social media posts which discuss the importance
and pleads for community inclusion of those that are currently living in marginalized or
impoverished situations.
Website: http://519pursuit.ca/

Human Environments Analysis Lab (HEAL) at Western University –The Human Environments
Analysis Laboratory is a state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary research and training environment
based at Western University which specializes in the evaluation, creation and sharing of
knowledge that helps support effective policies, programs and professional practice aimed at
creating healthy and vibrant communities. HEAL specializes in applications of geographic
information science (GIS) for addressing critical planning and public health issues such as
childhood obesity, climate change, food security, and social inequity. They also specialize in
community-based research and strive to build authentic and mutually-beneficial partnerships
with local community organizations, especially non-profits and charities.

London Food Coalition – The London Food Coalition is dedicated to creating food prosperity
initiatives that assert fresh food as a fundamental right. This initiative provides essential
resources for family cooking programs, nutritional and educational programming, camp
programs, and healthy meals for children and families. Furthermore, this coalition reduces the
costs of food for London organizations.
Website: https://www.londonfoodcoalition.com/


Holly Painter - As a poet, teacher and public speaker, Holly has engaged the community on
numerous occasions. As a former London school board and arts council Artist in Residence,
Director of local and national poetry slam organizations, and TEDx speaker, Holly interweaves
her art in facilitating workshops and assemblies in schools to shine a light on numerous
subjects including mental health, LGBTQ2+ rights, and anti-bullying. In addition, Holly has
strongly positioned the London Poetry Slam as a safe space for the discussion and sharing of
issues including LGBTQ2+ equality, youth engagement, and the ongoing de-stigmatizing of
mental health issues. Her personal message is to always be true to yourself, but also go out of
your way to be kind, respectful, and empathetic of others along the way.
Website: http://www.hollypainterpoetry.com/

Matthew Reid - As past Chair of the Thames Valley District School Board and a successful
lawyer, Matt has been a positive role model and has consistently worked to help those that
aren't a part of the LGBTQ2+ to understand the struggles our youth face. His leadership and
advocacy in the community and at the TVDSB has helped break down barriers and has
encouraged others to be champions or allies to the LGBTQ2+ community. Matt is engaged and
active in conversations around religion and the rights of the LGBTQ2+ community, and has
continued to create an inclusive environment for all students.

Patricia Runciman- Over the last 20 years, Patricia Runciman has volunteered over 14,000
hours of her time at LIFE*SPIN, assisting thousands of low income individuals and families living
in poverty. As a direct result of her advocacy work, over $50,000,000 in cash benefits to her
clients has been generated. Patricia has also served on numerous committees that oversee and
advise on direct services for low-income Londoners, as she is driven by her compassion for
those in need for a sense of community. The tenacity and courage she gained from life
experience is translated into compassion and understanding for those she serves. Patricia helps
people to believe in themselves and always reaches out with support to those who need a hand
Website: https://lifespin-org.doodlekit.com/home/index


Mensadora - Mensadora’s reusable menstruation products eliminate a very common single use
plastic that contains many chemicals harmful to the user as well as the environment. The user
benefits from peace of mind knowing protection needs are covered for up to 7 years at the
same expanse as one years’ worth of disposable products. Mensadora is contributing to a
growing conversation on reducing the stigma around women’s health. They are focused on
working with the municipal, provincial and federal governments to positively impact those on
programs such as Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program with their high-quality,
made-in-London, reusable menstrual products.
Website: https://mensadora.ca/

P.A.I.R (Parent and Infant Relationship) Clinic – Vanier Children’s Services – Staff at the PAIR
Clinic are working together with partners in the community to support families as they provide
healthy connections for their babies. They offer community professionals, Consultation
regarding infants emotional needs and what impacts brain development and Workshops to
enhance partners’ skills and understanding of infant mental health and caregiver needs.
Website: https://www.vanier.com/programs-services/drop-in-services/parent-and-infant-

Urban Roots London – Urban Roots is a non-profit organization that revitalizes underused land
in the City of London for agriculture by: 1. producing high-quality, organic vegetables and herbs,
2.distributing produce locally, directly to consumers and to private and social enterprises, 3.
developing agricultural opportunities for the neighbourhood, social enterprises, and community
organizations within the City of London and by 4. growing a self-sustaining, urban agricultural
model to germinate to new sites
Website: https://urbanrootslondon.ca/


Healing through the Arts is a project developed in collaboration with various groups in the
Community including the London Arts Council, Participation House Support Services (PHSS),
L’Arche, and Hutton House. Healing through the Arts offers six-week art studios for people with
disabilities, their family members, support workers, and community members who wish to
learn, create, and collaborate alongside those with disabilities. The participants in the program
are creating art and developing real friendships together, which improves the quality of life of
everyone involved, and allows community members to gain a greater understanding of the
people that they are assisting.
Website: https://www.londonarts.ca/healing-through-the-arts

INSite Clinic - INsite is a collaborative network of 6 local mental health and social support
organizations working together to address the gaps in London-Middlesex region’s mental health
services. Made possible through a Smart & Caring Community Fund grant from the London
Community Foundation, INsite locations are rotating, walk-in spaces where individuals and
families can access free, immediate, confidential counselling and referrals to additional
supports and assistance.
Website: https://www.facebook.com/INsiteLondonMiddlesex/

RollUP Solutions Inc. - RollUP Solutions, collects gently-used wheelchairs and other mobility
devices from the community, working with partners at Goodwill Industries Commercial
Solutions to refurbish them, and then sells or donates the devices at a 95% discount - ensuring
that everyone who needs a great wheelchair can access one.
Website: https://rollupwheelchair.com/

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