United Way’s local love fund has supported several community-building projects in Clayton Heights, including the creation of 14 ‘take a book, leave a book’ little libraries. (claytonheightscommunity.com)

B.C. neighbourhood aims to change ‘bad rap’ with ‘good news’ website

United Way funds website project with goal of fostering ‘local love’

With the help of United Way, Clayton Heights is working to change its bad rap.

The charitable organization has been working in the neighbourhood to support initiatives that foster “local love” since October 2018 when representatives hosted a community-building event, and brainstormed different projects that could help change the conversation from negative to positive.

According to the United Way, although Clayton Heights was built as an intentional, “interconnected” community, many residents feel isolated or disconnected from their neighbours.

Since that meeting nearly a year ago, the organization has provided grants to local projects that bring people together, including block parties and the creation of little libraries.

Now, a new website has been launched as part of the program — claytonheightscommunity.com.

According to Randy Grixti, assistant director of information technology for United Way Lower Mainland, town hall participants spoke about how they wanted a place where they could connect with community, and what was happening in their neighbourhood, in a positive way.

“They wanted to be able to see what’s happening, attend events and volunteer,” said Grixti.

Of course, there are Clayton-specific groups on social media platforms such as Facebook. But “people are super sick of the Facebook negativity,” explained Maggie Karpilovsky, manager of strategic initiatives and evaluation for United Way Lower Mainland.

Umbrella Squared Design Group owner Kristy Hill designed the website for the project.

“We talked about how we wanted a positive place where people could read positive stories, interact in a positive manner and connect and grow together in a positive way,” said Hill.

Clayton’s negative reputation was discussed at the October 2018 town hall. Residents talked about how their neighbourhood was known for crime, for parking issues, and overcrowding.

But that reputation didn’t accurately reflect day-to-day life in Clayton, according to attendees who spoke about how their personal experience of the neighbourhood “didn’t mirror that,” said Karpilovsky.

The website will be a way to “shift the conversation” in Clayton to one that is more positive, and to one that reflects it more accurately, she said.

Creating connections within the community, fostering a sense of identity and belonging, and encouraging local pride, will all be focuses of the new website.

The site will be curated by a team of volunteers — if you’re tech savvy, and want to help out, you can find out more at claytonheightscommunity.com.

The United Way supported the site’s set up and financed its design. Now that it exists, it will belong to the Clayton community.

“The idea is very much by residents, for residents,” said Karpilovsky. “It’s not somebody external that’s trying to advertise their events. It’s very much something that is organic — people taking ownership of co-creating the things they want to see in their community, and having a supportive network to be able to respond to that.”

Clayton is encouraged to get involved with the site. Locals can submit good news stories, photos, find volunteer opportunities, and read about upcoming events in the neighbourhood.

The site will also host information about Clayton’s Little Libraries, a United Way-funded project that has brought 14 “take a book, return a book” exchanges to the neighbourhood.

For more, visit the site at claytonheightscommunity.com.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Buttar, Kahlon named to all-rookie team

Cascades first year players earn U Sports nods after stellar debut seasons

Carol Young, an artist who fought for timely cancer treatment in Abbotsford, dies before first solo show

B.C. Haida artist’s exhibit to open Saturday at downtown Seattle gallery

Paramedics respond to two-car crash in Abbotsford

Sedan and SUV collided just after 10 a.m. on Ash Street

Abbotsford opera singer to perform in Vancouver production

Lauren Solomon plays role in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Mariposa

KMS Tools celebrating grand opening in Abbotsford

New location on McConnell Road, right next to Costco

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

UPDATE: Metro Vancouver bus drivers to refuse overtime as transit strike escalates

Overtime ban could disrupt 10-15 per cent of bus service in Metro Vancouver

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

South Surrey man and city settle beef over backyard cow

Asad Syed, who kept a calf on his property last year, met City of Surrey in court Tuesday

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Extreme career fair draws hundreds to Langley Events Centre

Black Press event included more than 60 employers

Most Read