Access Communications is a 100% community owned not for profit co-operative. To celebrate the communities they serve, this year once again, they hosted free BBQ lunches across the province. Handing out great tasting hamburgers and hotdogs, Access swag, and deals on services, they provided people a chance to not only meet some of the faces that work at Access, but also to win a YETI cooler. From their Facebook page they state a commitment to connecting with their customers and neighbours while having some fun and showcasing their grilling skills. The tour started off in Wadena on May 24 and has been going strong all summer with 74 barbecues held before they stopped in Wakaw on Wednesday August 24th. Today finds them cooking up their next to last barbecue in Cudworth at the Heritage Museum. Tomorrow they will wrap up their appreciation tour at the Lions Park at Regina Beach.
Access Communications is a Canadian telecommunications service provider operating in over 235 communities in Saskatchewan. Headquartered in Regina, the co-operative provides internet, cable television, telephone and security services to residential and business customers. However, Access Communications believes that it’s not enough just to be in a community, they also need to be a part of it. Access Communications Children's Fund Inc. is a CRA-registered charity that contributes funds and support to youth-based not-for-profit organizations and charities. The Children's Fund supports projects for children and youth in need or at risk in the many communities they serve thereby demonstrating their “commitment to the communities and province [they] are privileged to serve.” This support is made possible through charitable donations from the public, profits from its weekly TV Bingo program, as well as fundraising initiatives by Access Communications staff members. The Children’s Fund has donated over $2.5 million to various local children’s charities and non-profit organizations across Saskatchewan to support projects that focus on education & literacy, health & wellness, and social inclusion. The application deadline for funding is December 1. The Fund’s Allocation Committee and its Board of Directors will then consider all applications. Decisions on funding are usually communicated within four weeks following the deadline.
Also part of the giving back nature of the co-operative, are the Access Scholarship Awards. Each year the Access Communications Doug Alexander Scholarship Program grants 20 Saskatchewan high school graduates with a $1000 scholarship. “Our recipients strive to make a difference in their hometown, volunteering their time with their school and community organizations. Concern for community is a co-operative principle, after all, and we can’t wait to see the great things these students go on to accomplish.” One of the 2022 recipients Caiden Hendry of Nokomis summed it up this way, “Growing up in a small town, I a very aware of the impact that volunteering has and what it can do for a community. From a young age, I was aware that may of the activities I was involved in were made possible by the volunteers.” The Committee considers the students contribution to community improvement, academic achievement and school involvement. Since its inception in 2005, the program has awarded over $400,000 to high school graduates.
Additionally, the Access Communications Fred Wagman Entrance Scholarship in Film & Video supports those entering the University of Regina’s Film and Video Production Program while the co-operative also awards annual scholarships to students at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in the Computer Networking Technician and the Telecommunication Network Technician certificate programs.
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder