There are a couple of lines in the popular children’s book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse that read:
“What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” asked the boy.
“Help,” said the horse.
That four letter word: H-E-L-P is loaded. Asking for it takes courage. It takes energy. And it requires trust. That’s not always easy.
Gurbani Kaur, and her colleagues at Sea to Sky Community Services and at Foundry Sea to Sky, are in the business of building trust. As a Youth Peer Support Worker, Gurbani spends a significant amount of time cultivating connections and building relationships with youth so that they feel comfortable asking (and receiving) the support they need.
At 23 years old, Gurbani remembers what it was like to be a teen. She wishes she had known about youth support services when she was younger.
Now, after graduating from university, Gurbani is working to help ensure that youth know there are safe places for them to go and people who care.
As a Youth Peer Support Worker, a typical week includes lunchtime visits at local high schools, Friday night drop-in sessions at the new Youth Hub, as well as facilitating the Youth Collective – a weekly group that gathers to discuss identity, gender and inclusion and to enjoy activities together.
Youth Peer Support Workers are a key part of the Wednesday and Thursday Walk-In Support team at Foundry, an interdisciplinary group that provides free access to mental health and substance use counselling and peer support for youth. Gurbani and her colleagues are thrilled about the recent opening of Foundry Sea to Sky. She knows what a difference the services will make to youth and the community.
“It is exciting to know that youth now have a dedicated space designed for them, where they can hang out and be themselves,” Gurbani says. In addition to clinical supports at Foundry, the new facility includes the Youth Hub that offers a wide range of recreational activities from pool and ping-pong tables to a basketball court.
It’s a place where youth can come for support, to hang out, or to talk to peers or staff about topics they don’t want to raise at school or with their family.
This past year, 218 youth participated in youth services programming offered by Sea to Sky Community Services and Gurbani’s team is eager to welcome more youth this year. “No matter your age, colour of skin or how you identify – there’s a space here for you,” Gurbani says. “I think that’s super, super cool.”
To support youth in our communities and to expand youth services in Pemberton and the surrounding area, we need your help. A financial donation to Sea to Sky Community services will help us create connected, safe spaces for youth so they feel welcomed and supported where they live.