A group of Clayton Heights residents at a community-engagement meeting held on Oct. 16. (Submitted)

United Way to give $12K to Clayton Heights projects promoting ‘local love’

Charity to provide $12,000 to projects addressing feelings of isolation in Clayton Heights

United Way wants Clayton Heights residents to have more love for their community, so the charity is giving out $12,000 in grants for local projects that boost neighbourhood morale.

The hope is that the money will support initiatives that foster “local love” in Clayton Heights.

The project was announced Tuesday, Oct. 16 at a community-building event at Clayton Community Hall. Seniors, teens, community leaders and City of Surrey staff attended the presentation, which was hosted by the United Way of the Lower Mainland. Participants were asked to share what they thought they could do to make Clayton Heights a better place to live.

“Clayton Heights has the potential to be a place where everyone loves where they live,” said Kim Winchell, director of social impact for United Way, in a press release. “These funds are just one way we’re inviting residents to show their local love and take action in whatever ways are meaningful to them.”

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

The population in the area has grown rapidly over the last decade, and more than 24 per cent of Surrey residents are under the age of 19. United Way pointed to a “lack of infrastructure” in the Clayton Heights area, meaning children and youth have “nowhere to go to spend the critical hours of 3 to 6 p.m. Lack of accessible and low-cost structured activities puts youth at risk for negative behaviours.”

As well as growth and youth engagement, United Way has earmarked the $12,000 in funds for projects that address lack of amenities and encourage a sense of belonging.

Applications for grants of up to $1,000 are now open and will be accepted on an ongoing, monthly basis. The Clayton Heights Residents Council will review applications, and successful applicants must use the funds within three months of it being awarded to them. For more information, and to apply, visit uwlm.ca/clayton.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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