TIMMINS -- New opportunities await the Youth Wellness Hub in Timmins, which has received a major financial boost from a northern supporter.

Newmont Goldcorp is donating fifty-thousand dollars to the Hub, which works towards providing young people a welcoming environment where they can feel free to be themselves and receive social support when they need it. 

"They're dealing with at-risk youth and they're ... using infrastructure that we currently have in the city and not building new infrastructure,” said Bryan Neeley, sustainability manager at Newmont Goldcorp Corporation.

For those who frequent it often, it’s a special place.

"I like to explore a lot so it gives me opportunities for that. It has a lot of new people I have never met before,” said Kevin Hulley, an active participant.

One of his friend’s Mack Daigle agreed. 

"I really have nothing to do during the weekend so just like coming out here and hanging out with people…and it brings up the mood especially during ...the pandemic."

It’s taken the hub two and a half years to get incorporated and its board of directors, half comprised of youth, recently held its first meeting. 

"There's over thirty organizations involved with the youth wellness hub and just the fact we’re incorporated now, it provides stability and makes people realize we're in this for the long haul,” said Brian Marks, chair of the Youth Wellness Hub board of directors.

Participants said that they are happy to know that people care.  One of the Hub’s main objectives is to provide mental health services. 

"We have counsellors on standby…and if there's a crisis then we can call a counsellor, but we have peer mentors at every outdoor hub," said Anne Vincent, executive director of the Youth Wellness Hub. "About 25 per cent of our youth, over time, talk to our peer mentors about mental health and well-being."

The Youth Wellness Hub will continue to host meetings throughout the winter, but outside due to the pandemic.  Participants can look forward to activities such as snowshoeing and skating this winter, just to name a couple.