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Victoria’s Youth Feel Less Connected

NEWS RELEASE
Victoria, B.C. Nov. 21, 2012 – Housing, homelessness and education continue to be the top issues for Victoria’s youth, but concerns about transportation are increasing.  In contrast, the environment and access to sports and recreation appear to be doing well in the eyes of those aged 15 to 24.

These are some of the results from Victoria’s Youth 2012 Vital Signs, an annual report released today by the Victoria Foundation and sponsored by Island Savings Credit Union. The report is a compliment to the Victoria Foundation’s main Vital Signs report released last month and measures the vitality and livability of our city from a youth perspective. 

One of the most dramatic results presented in the report is a decline in how connected youth feel to the community.  Those that felt “very connected” or “somewhat connected” dropped from 16.4% and 71.4% respectively in 2011, down to 12.8% and 58% in 2012.  Youth that feel “hardly connected” jumped from 10% to 26.1% over the same period.

“We feel it’s very important to bring issues like this to the forefront, notes Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “Over the past four years, Youth Vital Signs has provided important information that has increased our understanding of our community. It has stimulated discussion, encouraged debate and prompted action.” In addition to producing the report, the Victoria Foundation uses the results each year to connect donors to needs and opportunities, to help direct proactive grants aimed at youth issues, and to convene people on issues of importance to youth.

Now in its fourth year, the report is a combination of public opinion and statistics that gives youth in the region a way to have their voices heard. Youth were surveyed and asked for their opinions on 13 issues critical to their quality of life: Youth Housing, Transportation, the Environment, Education, and Safety, among others. Respondents were asked to grade each subject area and indicate what one or two things they would change if they could. What has emerged is an up-to-date snapshot of the issues effecting Victoria’s youth, their assessment of those issues, and their recommendations for improvements.
“It is our hope that the report will inspire and motivate others to join in working to make our community even healthier, vibrant and engaging for our youth than it is today,” states Richardson. “Together with the generous support of Island Savings Credit Union, the Victoria Foundation is proud to bring the 2012 version of Victoria’s Youth Vital Signs to our region, and look forward to continuing to assist in making positive changes for everyone who lives here.”

“As our relationship with the Victoria Foundation continues to grow, we want to be involved with the important work they are doing in any way we can,” said Bronwyn Dunbar, Senior Manager, Marketing and Community Investment for Island Savings. “Island Savings has been the presenting sponsor of the Vital Signs for the past three years; we have seen how the information in the report can bridge business and community to enrich the lives of residents in the CRD.”

Created in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is focused on connecting people who care with causes that matter®. They manage charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are distributed as grants to causes donors wish to support on southern Vancouver Island and beyond.  The Foundation’s mission is to inspire giving, to thoughtfully care for the assets entrusted to them, and to invest in people, ideas and activities that strengthen our communities – both for today and for generations to come.

Victoria’s Youth Vital Signs report is available at: www.victoriafoundation.bc.ca Follow the conversation at facebook.com/thevictoriafoundation.

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For more information, please contact:
Robert Janus
Communications Consultant
Victoria Foundation
rjanus@victoriafoundation.bc.ca
Office: 250.381.5532  ext. 227                   
Mobile: 250.886.6112

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