Westminster House is holding a Clean-Up New West event on June 26th, 2022, inviting the community to join them in expressing their gratitude to the city by sponsoring, volunteering, and participating in the city-wide clean-up!
“Clean-Up New West is about saying thank you to our community partners, and what better way to thank them than to clean up the neighbourhoods,” explains Susan Hogarth, executive director at Westminster House. “We live, recover, work, and play in New Westminster and are proud of our community.”
Founded in 1981, Westminster House offers bed-based and virtual addiction recovery programs for girls and women from British Columbia and beyond.
The gender-specific recovery program is trauma-informed and vital because many women who access treatment and recovery are escaping situations that contribute to their addiction issues, such as sexual exploitation and abusive relationships. In addition, many WHS alumnae stay connected to the program, helping support and encourage new women.
“Our goal is to help clients permanently exit the cycle of addiction by providing a safe environment and an opportunity to build long-term connections that will contribute to sustainable recovery,” Hogarth explains.
WHS graduates often stay in the community, choosing to make New Westminster their home.
“We’ve been building recovery capital in New Westminster for over 40 years. As a result, thousands of people have recovered and have chosen to buy homes, build their families and develop their careers in this community.”
“We love that New West is the recovery capital of Canada,” Hogarth continues.
The Clean-Up New West event was born from this intrinsic desire to give back to the community that has nurtured WHS’s recovery programs and the women who graduate from it.
“The event is about giving back to the community we live and work in,” says development assistant Laura Dunne, the event coordinator.
“We’re giving clients, alumnae, friends and family a way to engage as a community. We’re not just picking up garbage; it’s a community gathering. We’re providing an event for people to contribute to their community and have some fun while doing it. It’s the connection we need after the isolation from COVID.”
So, how can you get involved?
Westminster House is looking for volunteers to participate in the clean-up event.
Additionally, WHS is seeking sponsors to help fund the event, with any additional funding designated to support aftercare programs to help support women after they complete treatment. Aftercare programs assist women in integrating back into and becoming productive members of society, while learning how to live sober outside the treatment environment.
The event is set for 9:00 am on June 26th in Tipperary Park. It will feature a clean-up march, prizes, live entertainment, meal vouchers, and community connection.
Sorting stations will be set up to ensure waste goes into the proper recycling streams, and a designated task force is dedicated to picking up dangerous goods, such as needles.
“It is especially a problem in downtown New West, and we want to address it safely,” Dunne continues.
Clean-up New West promotes environmental sustainability; therefore, bottled water will not be offered. Instead, there will be a water refill station for participants. Additionally, cleaning up the neighbourhood will take lots of energy. Luckily, the Nut is sponsoring a coffee station, so make sure to bring your to-go cups for a much-deserved caffeine pick-me-up! In addition, Rethink Real Estate Group has sponsored lunch vouchers for those who work up an appetite participating in the clean-up.
Volunteers are encouraged to sign up in advance though it’s not mandatory.
“We’re encouraging local businesses to get involved. How can we work together to make this great city beautiful?” states Dunne.
“The more people we get, the more garbage we pick up, the greater impact this has on the community,” Dunne says.