Foundry Abbotsford celebrated its second year in operation with a virtual bingo event on June 19th.
Foundry Abbotsford provides local youth between 12 and 24 and their families with integrated wellness services, such as physical and mental health care, substance use supports, social services, and youth and family peer supports.
Since officially opening in June 2018, the centre has served over 2500 youth who made over 11,000 visits accessing 19,500 services. The number of visits increased 50% over the first year of operation while the number of unique youth went down, showing youth are highly engaged and returning for a variety of services.
“The amount of young people coming each month clearly demonstrates how much our community needed and continues to need a Foundry”, said Simone Maassen, Manager of Youth Services at Archway. “Foundry has been a game changer for youth and especially young adults wanting to address their mental and physical health.”
During COVID, Foundry shifted its counselling and peer support services to online or phone sessions. Recreational groups shifted to an online format as well including group exercise like yoga, a Harry Potter book club and the Life Hacks group. The Foundry Youth Health Clinic has stayed open to provide primary care with enhanced safety measures in place.
“It has been a great two years. Foundry Abbotsford, along with our clients, has grown in so many ways. In recent months, with the emergence of COVID-19, we have been stretched and our learning has been the greatest,” shared Laurel Jarvis, the Foundry Service Delivery Coordinator.
“I am proud of our staff, partners and clients for how quickly everyone adapted to virtual care. We look forward to the days when we can, once again, see clients face to face. Until then, we continue to adapt to the new normal and do our best to provide the best possible services to our clients. “
The centre – operated by Archway Community Services– brings together a variety of local organizations, including services provided by Fraser Health, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and other community partners to transform the way substance use, mental health and wellness services are provided to the city’s youth.
Foundry Abbotsford is one of nine sites in the BC with two more opening in Richmond and Terrace in 2020. The Province of BC recently announced plans to open an additional eight Foundry centres in Langley, Surrey, Burns Lake, Comox Valley, Cranbrook and Kimberley, Port Hardy, Squamish, & Williams Lake.
For youth and families not living near a Foundry centre, Foundry recently launched a new provincewide virtual service accessible by voice, video and chat for young people ages 12-24 and their caregivers in British Columbia. Foundry’s virtual services include drop-in counselling, peer support and family support, and will soon include primary care.
“We’re excited to see this model of integrated health being spread to more communities,” said Jarvis. “More and more young people and their families come to Foundry to take steps to support their wellness each day. We are honoured to be part of young people’s journey.”
Foundry Abbotsford continues to fundraise in order to run at full capacity and increase the number of youth it can serve. To support Foundry please visit the Foundry.
“It has been a great two years. Foundry Abbotsford, along with our clients, has grown in so many ways. In recent months, with the emergence of COVID-19, we have been stretched and our learning has been the greatest.”
Foundry Life Hacks group hike pre-COVID.
Foundry Peer Support Workers celebrate Pride Month.