Our services respond to the issues women and girls in our communities face. Our activities are rooted in a feminist analysis informed by an intersectional, non-oppressive, and trauma informed approach. Women and adolescent girls are at the centre of our work.
LEA Place began in the 1980's, from a group of dedicated women who quickly realized that there was a need for bringing rural women out of isolation and for giving them self-confidence and skills to navigate their situations through social gatherings that provided education, resources and support. By 1985, this initiative found a home in a vacant classroom of Sheet Harbour Primary School and LEA Place was born. The name stands for the idea of providing women a place to Learn, Enjoy the experience and Achieve their full potential, and "lea" by definition is a meadow or pasture, the perfect symbol for a place to grow.
"Way back when we first started our group, I had just become a widow, on welfare, with three sons still at home. I didn't know anything about how to settle up my husband's affairs or transfer the ownership of the car to my name, or anything else to do with business. He had taken "care" of everything. I had to fight to get his Veteran's pension and it helped me to meet with other women who had the same problems. We had no place to meet so we met at my house, or someone else's, then we used the Snowmobile Hall. We went to meetings in Halifax, Truro and to conferences at Mount St. Vincent. I enjoyed the meetings where I met other women in the same circumstances as myself. I was very pleased to be able to help other women, to learn what help was available to them, within Halifax or at Sheet Harbour. The motto of our LEA Place is certainly true. We learned a lot, enjoyed doing it, and we achieved personal gain and well-being."
Irene Baker (Russell), 1989, First President of Eastern Shore Learning Opportunities for Women (ESLOW) which is now commonly known as LEA Place
By 2006, LEA Place moved to it's current location, providing space and privacy for the women in our communities in order to furnish them with information, resources, support and community. LEA Place remains a safe and accessible space that is welcoming, non-judgemental and open to all women. Our staff and Board remain involved in issues identified by the community which promote the equality of women. Our work focuses on many areas like poverty, affordable housing, legal advocacy while providing safe access to educational resources to empower women in the growth they would like to achieve.