Wednesday , 5 October 2022

The Buzz is Growing Around The Hive – Bonnyville’s New Youth Centre

A dedicated team of community groups, led by the Primary Care Network, has been working hard to bring an exciting concept to fruition for the youth of the Bonnyville and surrounding area and is close to opening the doors!

The goal for ‘The Hive’ is to integrate health and social services in a youth-friendly environment. Through partnerships with existing agencies and businesses in the communities and easy access to these essential resources in one hub, all youth needs can be met with compassion and collaboration.

Named “The Hive” for the positive energy and social nature of the space and located on Main Street (in the former Thinkwerx location), students and community partners have been visualizing how to create the ideal new space along with organizing funding partners to bring
their ideas to life.

“It’s been an exciting but challenging time working to bring this idea to life through the pandemic but we know our community and our kids need access to this kind of space, so we persevered to make it happen. Outside of sports venues and schools, what safe space do our kids have in this community to be together? In addition to the social aspect, if they aren’t comfortable or don’t know how to access mental health or physician’s help, The Hive will be a place for them to be welcomed and supported” shared Chantal Vallee, NP Chair of The Hive Steering Committee.

With support from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Bonnyville FCSS, Northern Lights, Ecole des Beau Lacs and Lakeland Catholic School Divisions, Dragonfly Counselling and Support Centre as well as early sponsors like Lakeland Coop, Ross + Sylvestre CA, SureShot
Wireline, S&T Energy Services, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, the support is very strong and momentum is building.

“We have created a structure with community partners that ensures sustainability and accountability for both the space and youth programming,” explains Jesse Stein, Executive Director of the Primary Care Network. “It is critical to set up The Hive for longevity, not just for
our donors to see their support make a meaningful impact but for our kids; they need to know that they can rely on The Hive and that it will be available to them when they need it.”

The space is currently undergoing renovations with the guidance of a volunteer interior designer and the Youth Advisory group. Says Zoe MacLellan, Grade 11 student, “we have spent the last two years talking, planning and building this idea. We are so excited to see it come to life!”

Early summer is slated to see the doors open of The Hive for youths aged 14-21, an age group that is often underserved in this community. Factoring school enrolment and local census numbers, organizers estimate that they can impact 25 per cent of this group or nearly 350 youth at The Hive.

Open late morning to evening seven days a week, The Hive will offer youth specific programming based on the ‘Six Dimensions of Wellness’; Physical, Emotional, Occupational, Social, Spiritual and Intellectual. Using the six dimensions as a guide for activity and resource planning, we are seeking partners to offer opportunities for our youth to be wholly engaged in their health.

Activities might include exercise classes, painting, resume building, cooking, financial literacy, volunteering and more. Services will include access to counselling, nurse practitioner, legal and other professional services.

With a website and social channels already launched, The Hive is raising awareness and making progress towards opening day in the next two months “There are so many opportunities to be engaged with this exciting addition to Bonnyville” shares Kendra Krankowsky, Mental
Health Navigator and member of The Hive Steering Committee.

The Hive is currently seeking donations and sponsorships in three categories of support: monetary, equipment and activity or service leadership.

The Hive will be developed in two phases and will include unique features and spaces as directed by the Youth Advisory Committee. The first phase will include a coffee shop space, a computer lab and clinical health offices which will also house the Child and Adolescent Mental
Health program.

Phase two will include development geared for fitness, cooking and an additional lounge area for the youth.

Check out www.thehivelakeland.ca and follow along with us on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Please contact Aimie Kathan, Youth Coordinator at 587-201-2528 for more information about how you can be a part of opening this great new space for Bonnyville youth!

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