Hunting with history to help recovery
For three years the women from Westminster House cleaned up the city. Now they want to show it off.
This year’s Westminster House Recovery Centre for Women fourth annual Community Day, to be held Saturday, Sept. 29, will feature a scavenger hunt throughout New Westminster’s Downtown.
Participants will receive 15 clues that will lead them to various historical spots from the waterfront to Irving House where they’ll have to answer riddles to score points, explains Susan Hogarth of Westminster House. The winner will receive $500. All the locations are within walking distance of Hyack Square, where the hunt begins. A highly motivated team should be able to complete the course in about an hour.
Along the way they’ll learn all sorts of interesting facts and trivia about the city, like the importance of riverboats to New Westminster’s economy during its formative years, or that until 1873 the city’s police were all volunteers.
“We’re showing off the history of New Westminster,” says Hogarth. “When you discover the city it makes you proud.”
That sense of pride and community are important touchstones for women recovering from addiction and their families.
“When people arrive in our program they don’t feel they belong anywhere, they don’t fit in,” says Hogarth. “They have to believe in something, find a sense of belonging.”
Westminster House helps foster that self-esteem with a variety of programs that focus on lifestyle and wellness, as well as help build family support. About 90 women and their families are helped every year, says Hogarth.
Many of those women will be volunteering at the community day. It helps them overcome some of the social awkwardness that often accompanies addiction as well as breaks down the stigma that’s attached to addiction.
“It can happen to anyone,” says Hogarth.
In addition to the scavenger hunt, the community day will also feature a kids’ colouring contest, a pie-eating competition, and a raffle for a Vespa scooter.
Registration for the scavenger hunt begins at 10 a.m., or can be done online at www.westminsterhouse.ca. Cost is $20 and includes lunch provided by Chronic Tacos.