Avalon, 30 years on

Avalon, 30 years on header

On September 30th 2020, we marked 30 years since co-Founders Helen Burnham and Virginia Giles first opened the doors to Avalon Recovery Society.

Here, we chat to Helen Burnham O.B.C. about how Avalon has evolved over the years and her hopes for the future of our organization.

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These last 30 years have been a steady stream of exciting change and growth for Avalon, says Burnham. “We started with the one location and have steadily added more programs, staff and locations,” she says. “Seeing this constant growth is very gratifying.”


Looking back, Burnham is proud of Avalon for weathering challenges and growing pains as the scope of our organization and programs have evolved.

Today, Avalon is well-respected in the recovery community and works closely with addiction professionals, treatment facilities and social service providers.


More recently, Burnham says she takes a lot of pride in Avalon’s rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, Avalon closed its doors for the first time in its 30-year history to protect our community, many of whom have underlying health issues. Avalon staff and board worked hard to quickly move our services to virtual platforms, and we didn’t miss a day of operations or support for women recovering from addiction.


“We met with what was happening and didn’t give up,” Burnham says. “The tenacity was amazing; we just did the next right thing and came together.”


As we look to the future and enter a “new normal,” Burnham hopes are that Avalon will continue to respond to women’s needs with the flexibility and adaptability that we have demonstrated over the last few months.


“I hope that we will continue to help women find recovery, in whatever way works for them. We will respond to changing needs and meet them where they are.”


Watch our interview with Helen Burnham celebrating her recovery journey and Avalon’s birthday

If you are seeking freedom from addiction, check out our warm, welcoming Avalon community!  You can join our free meetings by phone, by Zoom or in person at one of our three Avalon Women’s Centres.

Find an Avalon Meeting

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