Renovation help for teen centre

NANAIMO: South Side Teen Centre receives grant from the Home Depot Canada Foundation for renovations.

Nanaimo’s South Side Teen Centre will soon be a more comfortable place to hang out for youth.

The centre, which is operated by the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island, was one of 20 Boys and Girls Clubs to receive a grant to renovate.  The grant is part of the Home Depot Canada Foundation’s Communities in Focus Program. The Nanaimo centre received $6,250.

“It’s fantastic,” said Linda Thomas, manager of fundraising and community relations for the Boys and Girls Club. “We are looking forward to working with Home Depot. It’s going to be great.”

Volunteers from the local Home Depot store will also lend a hand with the renovations. Renovating the teen centre will include painting, improving the building’s heating and cooling system, installing blinds and constructing a stage for activities. The renovations are expected to begin Sept. 20.

“You want it inviting for youth to come. You want youth to feel comfortable and that it’s a place to hang out,” said Thomas.

She said the renovation is going to be a great opportunity for the centre and create a better space for youth and staff. The centre offers activities for youth ages 13-18 and runs a number of programs. Membership to participate in activities is $24 for a year.

Some activities the centre offers include the Torch Club, which is a youth leadership program that aims at giving youth life skills through mentorship and hands-on community programs.

The health and fitness program is offered in partnership with John Barsby Community School and allows teens to participate in activities such as basketball, volleyball, self-defence, yoga and others. Go Girls is a program that focuses on life issues, struggles and situations that are unique to girls and women and explores body image and awareness, setting health boundaries and developing self-esteem.

Skilled for Life is a new program the centre is offering starting in December. It focuses on preparing teens for the transition into adulthood by giving them instruction on cover letter and resume writing, interview techniques, financial and budget planning skills and learning goal setting. The focus is on youth aspiring to enter the trades industry but it also caters to other career choices.

Youth have the opportunity to do hands-on training through field trips, job shadowing, volunteering and participating in guest demonstrations.

The South Side Teen Centre is located at 20 Fifth St. For more information about the Boys and Girls Club please go to