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Jul 30, 2019 Return to Headlines

New Youth Strategy Supports Current Youth Recreation Needs

by Rebecca Vaughan |

COQUITLAM, B.C., July 30, 2019 – After consultation with youth, young adults, parents, and other community members, Coquitlam has adopted a new Youth Strategy to guide City programs and services to meet the unique and changing needs of teens and young adults.

Consultation Engaged Youth, Young Adults and Community Members
Throughout July and August 2018, the City surveyed youth (11-18 years) and young adult (19-24 years) participants  who shared their feedback about current programs and facilities, their suggestions for other activities or amenities, and how the City can help more youth enjoy the benefits of recreation.

In fall 2018 and early 2019, a wider consultation included focus groups with specific stakeholders, interviews, and an online Community Survey. In total, approximately 1,000 youth, young adults, parents and other influencing adults participated in the consultation. 

What We Heard

Some of the findings from the consultation revealed:

  • 75% of youth survey respondents said their life balance was either lacking or in need of improvement.
  • Barriers, such as lack of time or awareness of opportunities, cost, and other access issues, limit or prevent many youth from participating regularly in community programs and services.
  • Many youth are seeking flexible, low-commitment opportunities, such as drop-ins and short-term instructed programs offered at various times at multiple locations.
  • Older youth are interested in more leadership and career exploration opportunities.
  • When asked what they liked most about City-led programs, a third of youth respondents said they enjoyed meeting new people, making new friends or being with their friends.

New Coquitlam Youth Strategy Identifies Critical Priorities 

Based on the feedback received, the City has identified a number of critical priorities that will be addressed through the implementation of Coquitlam’s Youth Strategy:

  • Service Shift: Realign current resources to support the shift from a generalist model to a youth-focused service delivery model.
  • Collaboration: Develop a more effective process to facilitate collaboration and coordination within the PRC Department and with partner organizations to share ideas, learn from and support one another.
  • Progress Measured: Identify performance measures and report on progress of the Strategy annually.

 Four Goal Areas Addressing Youth Needs

The recommendations in the Youth Strategy are divided into four Goal Areas, with recommended steps and initiatives within each area:

  • Healthy Life Balance: Healthy life balance supported by wellness activities and spaces.
  • Active Participation: Easy, accessible and affordable programs and services.
  • Positive Connections: Supportive adults and friends in inclusive environments, and connections through improved communication.
  • Engagement & Leadership: Enhanced volunteer, leadership and decision-making opportunities. 

Putting the Youth Strategy Into Action

The PRC Youth Strategy Implementation Plan 2020-2024 will define how the City will achieve the Goals and Actions identified in the Strategy, along with performance indicators to measure progress on the Strategy each year.

Implementation of the Strategy will begin in 2020 with actions such as providing programming and spaces that support youth wellness; piloting outdoor adventure programs and creative projects; developing initiatives to encourage inclusiveness and remove barriers to participation; and involving youth in decision making, such as park and facility development processes.

A youth-friendly version of the Strategy – the PRC Youth Rec Plan, will also will be shared with youth in the fall to show how their input has been reflected and how the City will be working toward meeting their needs within the community.

Learn More

For more information about the Youth Strategy and to see the full report, visit www.coquitlam.ca/youthplan.

Media contact:

Carmen Gonzalez
Manager Policy & Business Services
Parks, Recreation & Culture