Young Ideas: A Fresh Initiative for the West End

By Hal Shin, GNH Community Journalist/Blogger

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In the West End, the demographic of individuals age 20 to 39 represents by far the largest portion of the community, sitting at a staggering 48% of the population*.

You would expect, with a dominant age group of that range the West End would see a well-connected and engaged young adult community.

That does not seem to be the case, according to its inhabitants.

The Vancouver Foundation’s 2012 Survey** found that “one-third of the people we surveyed say it is difficult to make new friends here. And one in four say they are alone more often than they would like to be. In both cases, people who experience this also report poorer health, lower trust and a hardening of attitudes toward other community members.”

The problem, for Vancouver, is cost. Rob Parry, a member of Young Ideas, has found that “the ability to access opportunities to meet peers socially requires having a lot of money … or having an established social network to build from.” With prices in Vancouver as high as it is, denizens of the West End find social activities deterred by costs and a lack of social culture.

It is this problem that Young Ideas seeks to remedy. Since its inception in 2014, Young Ideas has targeted the 20-39 age demographic; by putting emphasis on affordability and accessibility, Young Ideas hopes to cement a sense of social belonging and health, a motif to which they remain faithful to this day.

“We’re trying to fight that feeling of social isolation and [to] create the opportunity for people to be part of a community,” says Brendan Bailey, another member of Young Ideas.

“Young Ideas is a mechanism for young adults that work, volunteer or live in the West End to lead low-cost activities and initiatives aimed at facilitating connection,” says Paul Taylor, the Executive Director at Gordon Neighbourhood House.

The activities, events, and workshops hosted by Young Ideas range greatly. From Game On, a monthly free games night to Cooking With a monthly cooking class ($2), Young

Ideas is also known for its larger events, from their annual pride party, to the infamous Brews and Chews (a part of the West End Food Festival).

Upcoming Young Ideas Events:

YOGA – Pay what you can – EVERY TUESDAY

Cooking with (Meat Edition) Monday February 22nd 7pm – 9pm (call 604-683-2554 to register) $2

Cooking with (Vegan Edition) Wednesday February 24th 7pm – 9pm (call 604-683-2554 to register) $2

Game On Thursday 25th 7pm-9pm Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/946194108809028/

March:

Lets Grow Gardening Workshop (FREE) March 6th 11-12:30pm

One Mo’ Time (an improvised mo town mock wedding) March 19th 7-10pm tickets are $10 include a drink, bubbly and food. Tickets here: http://onemotime.bpt.me

Cooking with (Meat) March 21st 7-9pm $2

Cooking with (Vegan) March 30th 7-9pm $2

Game on + Cooking with (Vegan) April 21st 7-9pm $2 for Cooking with, Free for Game On

Check out the upcoming or past events here: https://www.facebook.com/YoungIdeasYVR/?fref=ts

While attending an event is great, volunteers at Young Ideas are constantly experimenting with different, novel ideas to see what works and what doesn’t. To them, it is a learning process, the fruits of which are the current events available to the public. If you’re interested in getting involved, please call 604-683-2554, or email youngideas@gordonhouse.org

For more information on Young Ideas, please visit: http://gordonhouse.org/programs/young-ideas/

*Statistics from 2011 census, page 20 of Community Profile 2012, by the City of Vancouver. Link: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/profile-west-end-2012.pdf. ** Link: https://www.vancouverfoundation.ca/sites/default/files/documents/VanFdn-SurveyResults-Report.pdf