Youth and family support to be discussed in Comox Valley

The Boys and Girls Club is bringing the community together next week to share ideas about providing services for youth and families in the Comox Valley.

The Boys and Girls Club is hosting a forum Oct. 25 at the Native Sons Hall and is inviting any interested community members to an "open space" session to share ideas about the needs of youth and families.

The session will ask four questions:

• What programs and services should the Boys and Girls Club be providing in the Comox Valley (now and in the future)?

• What barriers prevent participation in programs and services?

• What would an ideal Boys and Girls Club facility look like, and where would you locate it?

• What gaps in service do you see in our community for: ages zero to six, ages six to 12, ages 12 to 18, and families?

Attendees will have a chance to share their ideas for any one or all of these areas.

The goal of the forum is to ask members of the community, parents and other service providers to look at gaps in service for children and families in the community and to look at what they want from the Boys and Girls Club, within its mandate, explained Joanne Petersen, the Comox Valley area director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island.

"It's going to be really enlightening," she said. "A lot of care providers, even those who can't make it, say they're eager to get the information. It's valuable not only to the Boys and Girls Club."

Following the forum, the Boys and Girls Club will record the information, summarize it and offer the information to its members and to the community.

Petersen sees this type of information as being valuable in many ways, including applying for grants.

"To have the direct words of parents and community members and have it be that current really lets us know 'this is what people who are really passionate about delivering services have to say,'" she said.

The forum will be held Oct. 25 from 6:30-9 p.m. on the Lower Level of the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay.

For information and to RSVP, contact the Boys and Girls Club at 250-338-7582 or

Snacks and refreshments will be served. Child minding will also be provided, although an RSVP is required.

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