Over the past few months, Malton has been busy preparing for our upcoming Youth Wellness Hub. While renovations are being done to the second floor of MNS to create a new, youth-friendly space, we have been bustling with youth engagement programs and activities. Malton took advantage of National Youth Week in April 2019, organizing activities ranging from a Community BBQ to a Pool Party, allowing youth to hear about a new Youth space coming to Malton. This youth-oriented introduction to the new Malton Hub set the stage regarding hub expectations.
Since Doors Open is still a few months into the future, we had to keep the energy going. We kept the youth interested and updated on hub progress through other fun activities including a paint night and free hair cut Tuesdays where we have a local barber volunteer his time to provide haircuts to the youth in the community. In April 2019, we kicked started a 6-week Poetry Program where youth participants learned all about the fine art of poetry. Next, we led a 6-week Malton Speaker Series. We invited individuals from Malton to speak about their journey; the hurdles, the downfalls and their ultimate success. As we dove into summer, the Hub has partnered with the City of Mississauga to host 2 months of fun-filled activities for the youth. All these activities were informed by youth and include a weight room drop-in, dance program, a fitness class with an instructor, spa days, basketball conditioning, nutrition workshop and art nights.
As the Hub continues to prepare for Doors Open, we have initiated a Malton Youth Advisory Committee which has been meeting since March 2019. We provide food, start the meeting with an ice-breaker game and have casual conversations to cover the agenda items. We have discussed important matters to date including space design, a non-stigmatizing and inclusive space, and various youth roles required at the hub. This is also a time for our provincial youth representatives to share their experiences traveling the provinces, sitting on the provincial Youth Advisory Committee.
We are looking forward to hopefully opening the doors to the Malton Youth Wellness Hub in late 2019.
Written by: Chris Opoku (Youth Wellness Hub Manager)