One of the largest downtown core not-for-profit organizations where many Londoners various ages from as young as 4 months old in Mom/Tot swimming lessons to 55 years and up enrolled in the various senior’s programs and all ages in between spend hours of their free time enjoying the many resources that are available at the London Boys and Girls Club. In the last 63 years of operation, the club has evolved in the variety of services it provides to the clients that enroll in their various programs.
With a Seniors program with over 1200-1400 daily enrolled with services ranging from line dancing, Tai Chi, swimming, quilting, and exercise to name a few it appears no stone is unturned for a variety of things to keep you busy. With a modest annual membership fee starting at $75.00 these daily senior programs are available as well as door to door transportation service which allows those who no longer drive to still get out and be active both socially and physically.
With over 50 full-time all-year-round staff and 50 part-time staff which are mostly employed during the summer months to accommodate the over 3700 registrations for their summer day camps, it is amazing to see first hand how efficient this organization operates daily.
It is clear when you arrive how focused this large organization is on ensuring that each child is provided with recreation, education, socialization, and nutrition. The nutrition portion of this organization is one that must be centered out for excellence. The café is run by Marieke Graham head chef and her team. The café alone serves more than 600 meals daily and is one of the most important sections of the organization as they ensure no child is hungry while attending any program at the organization.
With the variety of programs run within this organization, it is of no surprise that the club has grown exponentially. All the programs that are run through the Boys & Girls Club utilize many facilities on site including;
- Two swimming pools
- Indoor playground
- Imagination Playground
- Computer room
- Homework room
- Kid Zone (Games Room)
- Craft room
- Activity room(s)
- Club House Café
- Teen Zone
Here shown below (left) is a shot from above one of the swimming pools named the Aquaplex pool which is a 25-meter competitive pool where many programs are run. During the time the photo was taken the pool was entertaining a day camp group of children ages 6-14. This is one of two pools on the property the other pool is called the London Life Family Wellness pool (right) which is a therapy pool with water jets, fully accessible with chair lift has in water seated area and can hold up to 77 people at one time.
When I was on-site, I came across an inclusion activity that was implemented by the aquatics staff to show recognition to fellow team members for all their hard work. This wall signifies deeds that have been noticed by coworkers and praise has been provided to ensure that the good deeds and efficient effort(s) do not go unnoticed. Below you will notice the wall and the notes between coworkers to reflect a small however powerful method to show appreciation. This is the type of environment you are surrounded by while attending the Boys & Girls Club – welcoming, kind and very inclusive.
The overall impression from my experience at the Boys and Girls Club of London was a safe inviting environment where children are welcomed with a broad list of activities to engage and allow for fun, creative thinking. The programs are run with all ages in mind and are specifically diverse in that they include all varieties of interests. The property is a buzzed front door entrance for additional safety the members are signed in upon arrival. The halls are lined with various motivational quotes, artwork, and images all the enforce positive mindset and encouragement.
It was a pleasure visiting the Boys and Girls Club of London and if you have the chance to pop in and check out the wide array of programs they offer I am sure you will find there is something for everyone to enjoy!
At INVORG, we specialize in the upliftment business, our vision and purpose is to uplift communities through digital solutions. We enable organizations to transform the lives of those whom they serve.
Kate CampbellClient Engagement Specialist @INVORG