Foundry Abbotsford recently held an event to celebrates its first anniversary. (Submitted photo)

Foundry Abbotsford celebrates one year of helping youth

Health centre serves more than 1,600 since opening in June 2018

Foundry Abbotsford recently celebrated its first year of operation with a celebration for the youth they serve, their families and the centre’s partners.

In addition to enjoying an ice cream sundae bar, attendees played games and won door prizes donated by local businesses.

Foundry Abbotsford provides local youth 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.

“From the day we opened our doors, we have seen a significant number of youth seeking help,” said Laurel Jarvis, manager of Foundry Abbotsford.

Since officially opening in June 2018, the centre has served over 1,600 youth who made 5,500 visits, accessing over 9,200 services in total.

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Foundry was set up to be a one-stop shop for ages 12 to 24, and a youth accessing one service can be immediately referred to another service in the same visit.

“Almost a third of our clients shared that they would not have accessed another service if they didn’t have Foundry to come to,” Jarvis said.

“By having a safe and welcoming space, we’ve been able to help those who typically don’t reach out.”

The majority of the clients accessed sexual or physical health services through the youth health clinic.

Mental health services were also in high demand, and 231 youth were able to access walk-in counselling at no charge.

The centre – operated by Archway Community Services (formerly Abbotsford Community Services) – brings together a variety of local organizations.

These include Fraser Health, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

Foundry Abbotsford is one of eight sites now open across the province, joining Kelowna, Campbell River, Penticton, Prince George, Victoria and two locations in Vancouver.

Three more centres are in development.

Foundry Abbotsford continues to fundraise to run at full capacity and increase the number of youth it serves. Visit Archway.ca/donate for more information.

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