POETRY: Jane Parham

Clients selling their art work in Parksville

Forward House facility serves up to 50 clients at a time

In an effort to move forward, Forward House is raising money to reconfigure their garage into a studio — to maximize its use for clients.

At their annual open house last month, Forward House clients sold pieces of their own artwork to help raise money for the project.

Jane Parham, a client at Forward House, sold copies of her book: a collection of personal poetry called Love, Jane. Parham said she was happy to contribute to the project especially as she’s “always loved writing” and uses the facility often.

Forward House executive director Sharon Welch explains the non-profit, registered charitable organization is like “a drop-in centre” for high-functioning adults with mental health and/or addiction issues who have a referral from Vancouver Island Health Association.

Welch said Forward House is the only organization of its kind in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

“So often we see stigmas around mental health,” said Welch. “We want to normalize the situation for our clients.”

Forward House is located in a quaint house along Hirst Street which reflects a family-like home — an intentional decision, according to Welch.

“We don’t want it to feel clinical at all in here,” she said. “In society it is difficult for people seen as different to have normal interactions with others — this space is an opportunity for our clients to feel loved and cared for.”

Welch said Forward House focuses on the strengths of their clients — some clients even teach courses to others in fields they excel in such as computer programming, yoga or art.

“People with mental health issues are often incredibly intelligent,” she said. “The trick is finding their strengths and encouraging them.”

Forward House services up to 50 clients at a time with eight staff members and various volunteers. It is open six days per week. Clients may sign up for artistic, intellectual or recreational programs all free of charge.

Welch said it will cost approximately $10,000 to renovate the unfinished garage which needs drywall, insulation, paint, new flooring and lighting. She is hoping the room can be used to host year-round activities. For more information about Forward House, to volunteer or donate, contact Sharon Welch or Pat Trozzo at 250-954-0785.

Just Posted

Parksville seniors getting stronger with age

Weightlifting couple qualify to compete at Worlds Masters in Montreal in August

Camera captures cougar lurking in Parksville’s Foster Park neighbourhood

Resident shared photo to alert others to big cat’s presence

RDN tipping fees set to go up in July

The Regional District of Nanaimo is set to increase tipping fees at… Continue reading

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Most Read