Petrolia Announces Youth & Senior Drop In Centre!

Posted: March 14, 2017

Petrolia Announces Youth & Senior Drop In Centre!

 Petrolia will soon be home to a youth and senior drop in centre.  Council has endorsed a plan for Petrolia to offer a drop in centre that will support and encourage youth to gather in a safe place where they can be themselves; and seniors to use the space to gather, share stories, gather information on health and social issues and find ways to stimulate aging bodies and minds.

 The drop in centre will benefit both youth and seniors in a variety of ways.  Youth will find a fun, safe, positive, supervised location that features a recreation room setting with various amenities, help with homework and Friday night special recreation nights.  Seniors will enjoy the same fun, safe, positive, supervised location that features a recreation room setting for social interaction and daily programs and educational opportunities that encourage participation.

 A recent survey of 2000 young people and 70 community representatives involved in youth issues across Canada found that “nothing to do” was the foremost concern among rural youth, and the second most prominent concern among urban youth.  The drop in centre recognizes that isolation and loneliness are major factors in diminishing the quality of life among seniors.

“…through reading many of the surveys and studies, it was quite clear that this would be a great fit for Petrolia.” Said Director of Facilities and Community Services, Dave Menzies. “If we can do our part to provide a safe environment for youth to relax and socialize, play games and do homework then we should.” He added.  The drop in centre will feature video games, board games, air hockey, ping pong, television, computers, WiFi and more.  There is an minimal annual registration fee for the youth program of $30 per person.  This fee is paid at The Centre.  The youth hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings from 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with recreation night on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Research has shown that five key ingredients for a sustainable youth centre are identified as: youth ownership, mentorship, community connectedness, effective coordination, and a sustainable energy source.  These concepts shift the focus away from the often-all-consuming stresses of money and facilities to critical factors such as community support, people resources, and youth-adult relationships.

Boomers Extra is an existing seniors social program that is very successful at The Oil Heritage District Community Centre (The Centre).  Director of Cultural Services, Richard Poore said, “…we have a very active group of seniors every Thursday, that really enjoy the social outing with lunch.  It is great for them to get out and enjoy different entertainment each week.”  Through research, it has been determined that daily and monthly scheduled activities that will stimulate the body and the mind would be an asset to the 55 plus age group in Petrolia.  The seniors programming will be free with no registration required.  The drop in centre hours for seniors will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with Boomers Plus staying at The Centre on Thursday’s at 11:00 a.m.

Programs Coordinator, Thera Wagner said “… staff at The Centre are actively seeking funding from federal and provincial grants, local businesses and private donors.  We are also actively pursuing partnerships in our community, to help enhance educational activities and add additional programs.”

Some key programming for seniors will include:  health and social services, hearing device information, visual aid information, insurance planning, home care service information, fitness, tax information, and arts and crafts to name a few.

The youth and senior drop in centre is poised to open in May, and registration will start in April.