The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge has made it possible for youth across Canada to step into leadership roles within their communties through a partnership with Community Foundations of Canada.
The Trent Hills Young Leadership Network was formed through a RBC funded grant, and Heidi Schaeffer, principal with Advancing Change Together (ACT) Consulting, was contracted to facilitate the engagement and co-design of the Vital Conversations initiative. Recently the project changed direction due to COVID-19. The Young Leadership Network launched the What's Up? 18 to 29 Community Experience Survey that allowed young adults within the community of Trent Hills to have their voices heard.
Over 70 young adults from Trent Hills answered the survey. Respondents were asked to answer multiple questons, but one question regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their personal lives was of particular interest and concern. Here is how some youth are describing the impact of COVID-19:
"I have been at home working remotely for most of the pandemic.... Trent Hills really needs to develop more dependable high-speed internet access".
"The amount of stress has increased substantially due to the change in available outings (fitness facilities, restaurants being closed, social distancing protocols) it makes it a lot harder to find stress relief in any kind of form".
"Our search for a home to buy has ceased since both of us lost employment".
"I'm seeing a lot of isolation and loneliness impacting restaruant patrons... and know of people in the community who have had increased substance use and depression".
The Trent Hills Young Leadership Network are handling and interpreting the survey results and are meeting regularly to discuss next steps. They are currently planning an event to take place in the fall so that young adults in Trent Hills will be able to gather, share ideas and take action together.
Stay tuned for more info. In the meantime, follow and reach out to them on social media to receive updates or to join their network - @THYoungLeadershipNetwork
Pictured above: Back row - Kira Mees, Nick St. Jean, Justin Battman (Project Coordinator), Tess Brown and Soren Christianson. Front row - Kirsten Ingram, Katherine Nicholas and Sadie Mees.
The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge is supported by the the RBC Foundation and the Campbellford/Seymour Community Foundation.