Across the Lower Mainland, countless youth have limited or no access to positive adult supervision and role models during unstructured evening hours. Youth, themselves, have spoken strongly in favour of programs that provide them with opportunities to gain skills and confidence. They want positive environments they can count on over time and in which they can built trusting relationships. Funding of $5,500, from the Sandel Fund and the Wintemute Fund, through the Delta Foundation, will support the Youth Nights program at Ladner’s Wintemute Boys and Girls Club.

Delta Foundation directors (back row l to r) Guillermo Bustos, Carlene Lewall, Richard Shantz and Walt Hayward, present $5,500 to the Wintemute Club, of the Boys and Girls Club in Ladner

The key to developing authentic relationships with our youth is to truly listen to them, according to the Boys and Girls Clubs. Respecting and honouring youth, their voices and opinions, and giving them a place to belong, recognizes that adolescent years can be a challenging time for young people.

The Youth Nights program addresses this need and equips participants with self-esteem and skills to navigate the transition to young adulthood. The long-term goal is to reduce gang involvement, theft, violence, safety concerns, and vandalism in the surrounding communities, in turn, reduce the cycle of abuse and the need for other health services such as detox, residential treatments, and outpatient treatments.

Trained staff and volunteers run the Youth Nights programs. They provide youth with a safe, engaging, positive place to participate in programs for preteens and teens so they can develop positive relationships with peers and adults, helping decrease the feelings of isolation, abandonment, and depression that often lead to negative behaviours:

  • social recreation activities – a variety of activity-based programs that encourage youth to move towards a healthier lifestyle;
  • sports-based activities – basketball, volleyball, yoga, hip hop dance, floor hockey;
  • educational activities – discussion groups, drug awareness, internet safety, body awareness, nutrition;
  • leadership activities – community service projects, coaching younger Club members.