The City of Brampton celebrated youth week with the grand opening of its first official Youth Hub on Monday. Located at the Susan Fennell Sportsplex, the Youth Hub opening welcomed local dignitaries, council colleagues, youth groups, youth, residents, and members of the media. The Youth Hub is the first of its kind in Brampton, and is one of two, with the second Youth Hub planned to open at Century Gardens in the fall of 2024. These youth hubs are designed to serve the unique needs of youth, offering continuous access to leadership and engagement opportunities in arts, recreation, and civic engagement.
“We have been working on increasing support for our youth since 2019, and it is incredible to see the first youth hub open today as part of our recognition of Youth Week this year,” says Santos, who emcee’d the grand opening ceremony and serves as Chair of Community Services.
Santos added that “providing safe spaces like this, especially post-pandemic, are vital for young people to reconnect and engage in-person, instead of online social media. With an increase in mental health issues amongst our youth, this Youth Hub will also enable peer-to-peer support and access to youth specific programs.”
The Youth Hub will provide inclusive services and activities for youth ages 14 to 29, offering access to recreation programs, social services support, mental health supports, health and wellness programs, employment and career services, youth leadership and professional development, and other programming. The Hub features leading-edge technology, including a green screen for multiple programming opportunities, such as recording music, vocals, music composition, DJ opportunities, and more. The space also consists of an eSports area that includes multiple monitors for individual or group play.
“We are thankful to Sheridan College for sponsoring our eSports space, which is a free and low-cost program for our youth in Brampton to enjoy,” said Councillor Santos. “It is important that we are not only providing our youth with the most up-to-date amenities where they can connect with each other, but also with a space where they can access resources under one roof.”
The Susan Fennell Sportsplex Youth Hub is part of the city’s efforts to provide Brampton’s youth with improved access to resources and programming. Santos has also launched a Youth Council and continues to advocate for youth mental health support . Among other initiatives, the City of Brampton is continuing its Explore Brampton Youth Pass again this year and work is already underway to develop a second youth hub, the Century Gardens Youth Hub, anticipated to open in Fall 2024.
“There are many opportunities for our youth to stay active and participate in the city. We are increasing access and need to get the word out there. It takes a village to support the success and future of our youth. Brampton is one of the youngest cities in the country and we are committed to providing that support. The opening of this youth hub is just one example,” concluded Santos.