Learn more about the people that make BWCH great.
Read about our mission, vision and purpose.
Larry served with the Ottawa Police Service for 32 years, the last eight as Deputy Chief, having worked in virtually every aspect of policing in Canada’s capital city.
He has participated in several international research missions and was the long-standing Chair of the Law Enforcement Aboriginal Diversity Network (LEAD), working alongside affected communities in opposing racial profiling in policing.
Larry has a long-established commitment to the community, having volunteered extensively on committees and boards of directors including as President of the Catholic Centre for Immigrants, Peace Camp Ottawa, Family Services Ottawa, Canada Safety Council, Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, and United Way Centraide Ottawa. He has served on the Britannia Woods Community House Board for the past 15 years.
Trisha Banks is a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and a minor in Psychology. She has a profound love and appreciation for science and the study of the brain. She is passionate about providing the community of Black people in Ottawa an opportunity to reach beyond systemic limitations. She has contributed to initiatives providing local Black artists with a platform to showcase their talents.
Trisha is fond of people, and how we all relate to one another. In her view, at its core Britannia Woods Community House represents a place for people to help one another and relate to one another. She wants to see BWCH flourish and provide lasting hope to the people in the community. She also hopes to be partake in showing the city how powerful these initiatives can be, in mitigating the challenges set against underserved communities.
Aldo Lokonyen Ben has been living in the Britannia Woods community for over 7 years. He is a Community Services Worker and Addiction Counsellor by profession, and has an Addiction and Community Service Worker Diploma from Willis College in Ottawa. He also works, on a part-time basis, as an Educational Assistant at the Ottawa District School Board.
As someone who lives in the community immediately surrounding the Britannia Woods Community House, Aldo is familiar with the basic needs and services needed to make the BW community a better place to live in. He wants to see residents of BW live in a peaceful, clean and crime-free environment, and this is one of the main reasons that made motivated him to joined the BWCH Board of Directors.
On his down time, Aldo loves reading books, watching sports, listening to news, and watching movies. He is also keen observer of the political world.
Milly Niyonkuru has more than 15 years of experience in accounting and in administration. She enjoys devoting herself to volunteering with French-speaking youth in the community. Since moving to Canada, Milly has been keen on learning about the diverse experiences of marginalized, low-income communities. This interest in understanding and supporting their experiences led her to becoming a member of the Board. She hopes to one day see a community and a city without violence, and adequate support for people in the community experiencing substance abuse.
On her free time, Milly likes to spend her time on hobbies like swimming and reading.
Chantal Demers is a devoted and proud Mom of three wonderful children, who are the center of her life. She is a former Early Childhood Education Teacher, and brings strong organization skills. She can set up tasks, projects and see them through to the end.
Chantal lives in Britannia Woods, which she describes as one big family. She wants the BW community to be a happy place to live in for everyone.
She is delighted to be able to participate in the board because she knows that the BWCH is making a positive difference in the community.
On her spare time, Chantal loves volunteering and helping others. Her goal is to continue to spread kindness everywhere she goes! This is informed by her strong belief in paying it forward in life.
Nadir Nur joined the board of directors in 2015 and is passionate about building solid financial policies, processes and improving efficiencies. He has a demonstrated history working as an accountant in the staffing and cybersecurity industries over the last 5 years.
After growing up in Ottawa Community Housing, Nadir joined Britannia Woods Community House’s Board of Directors in order to give back to his community through volunteer service.
Living in Ottawa West for the last 30 years, Tricia has had the opportunity to be a strong advocate for the importance of equity and opportunity in our community. She served on the Carlingwood Community Association for 8 years, 3 as President, and on the Woodroffe Avenue Public School Parent Council as Chair in recent years. In her career, Tricia has worked in the charity sector in fundraising, programming, communications and database management.
Lifting the voices and supporting the incredible work of the team at Britannia Woods Community House is a role to which Tricia is deeply committed.
Safaa Habach has a master's degree in civil engineering from Damascus University and a teaching degree from Queen's University. She is also a certified Math teacher by the Ontario College of Teachers.
She works in Ottawa as a volunteer in humanitarian organizations and food banks, and also volunteers at the mosque helping Syrian newcomers find employment and residence. Safaa has volunteered for more than 7000 hours in Ottawa!
Safaa is a resident of the Britannia Woods community and enjoys being a supportive and engaged community member. In her view, the BW community is the friendliest community of neighbours, and their kindness compelled her to join the BWCH Board to give back to the community. She has spent 8 years serving on the BWCH Board; first as a Board Director and more recently as the Vice Chair. Safaa is especially devoted to supporting services for the youth and women in the community.
Her hope is that the BWCH can one day have a bigger facility to help accommodate everyone, given the tremendous growth in the population served by the organization.
Community House & Administrative Coordinator
Diana Belghali has a diploma in Business Administration and comes with 15 years of experience in client care.
Currently, her role covers a multitude of responsibilities at the BWCH from finance to supervision, project management to partner relations and more. Diana began her journey with BWCH as a resident who became a member of the Board of Directors in 2014. Shortly thereafter, she joined as a staff and has been growing in her role since.
Diana was drawn to joining the board as a parent invested in building a safe and well-supported community for children and families like hers. The satisfaction she received from serving the community fueled her dedication and passion to continue in this path.
Since joining as a member of the board of directors, Diana has witnessed the enormous growth in BWCH’s mandate. She’d like to see the day when the community can grow into a space that matches the extensive services BWCH provides. She also would like to see an improvement in the quality of homes hoping to see a continued and increased dedication to social equity services and mandates in the city. Her hope is to see a world that amplifies the voices of the most vulnerable.
On her down time, Diana enjoys spending time with her family and baking delicious confectionaries.
Mental Health Manager/ Clinical Supervisor
Shannon Black is a clinical social worker with over twelve years of experience in the mental health/addiction and social service sectors. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work with a minor in psychology. She also has professional training in neurology and journalism. Shannon is also a trained therapist in private practice.
Shannon is the Mental Health Manager & Clinical Supervisor at Britannia Woods Community House (BWCH). Her advocacy, vision and effort for the past ten years has been focused on making the case for racially and culturally responsive, accessible, and ethical mental health care for disenfranchised individuals/communities. Shannon’s relentless mobilization has birthed many racially & culturally adapted program/initiatives within BWCH and city-wide.
BWCH has been at the forefront of many discussions, advocacy and actions that have informed transformative changes within the social service sector and the greater city. The organization’s work and effort often positions them beyond their designated role as a community house. This prioritization of marginalized communities, irrespective of red tape, is what drew Shannon and kept her at BWCH for the past 5 years.
Faduma Yusuf joined Britannia Woods Community House (BWCH) as its Executive Director in April 2020. She works with the small but mighty and caring team at BWCH to deliver innovative, timely and diverse community supports. She brings strong skills in community development, health equity, program development and project management to the organization. She has spent the past decade working in community development and health promotion in Ottawa. Faduma joined BWCH to advance the impact of place-based, community-centric, and holistic community services on people by ensuring radical accessibility and remaining grounded in being culturally-responsive.
Faduma plays a leadership role in city-wide coalitions and networks such as the Ottawa Coalition of Community Houses and the Ottawa Black Mental Health Coalition. She holds a Degree in Public Administration and a Minor in the Social Sciences of Health from the University of Ottawa.
Arriving to Canada at the age of seven with her parents and siblings, Faduma grew up in the Britannia Woods neighbourhood surrounded by loving families from around the world. Her dream is to mentor the next generation of social service leaders and change-makers in Ottawa. In her spare time, she enjoys taking in the beauty of nature of Ottawa’s west-end, reading and writing.