What We Do at Powerhouse Project
Powerhouse Project offers a variety of FREE services and activities to empower Young Carers and their families as we aim to foster resilience, reduce isolation and caregiver fatigue, alleviate stress and anxiety, and invest peer support and life skills. We offer:
- Weekly programming called ‘Carers Night Out’ (e.g. arts and crafts, snack’n’chat, teambuilding activities, games, etc.)
- Life Skills Programming (e.g. Cooking, For Keeps, Balance, Fit 4 Youth, etc.)
- Special Events (e.g. outings, family events, day trips, P.A. Day activities, etc.)
- Camps (e.g. March Break and Summer)
- Teen Programming (for youth 14-18 years of age)
- NEW! Young Adult Programming (for young adults 18+ years of age)
- Youth Advisory Committees (comprised of carers and those interested in supporting carers)
- Educational Workshops (for Young Carers and/or parents; e.g. Living with Adversity, Being a Sibling that Cares, etc.)
- One-on-One Visits (friendly visits/outings to build relationships or provide extra support)
Carers Night Out (CNO) is offered in 3 cities in each of our regions (Niagara: Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls; Haldimand-Norfolk: Dunnville, Hagersville, Simcoe, Delhi). CNO is the perfect opportunity for Young Carers to connect with one another on a weekly basis, helping to reduce isolation, anxiety and stress levels associated with their caregiving roles. For two hours each week Young Carers experience a break from their caregiving responsibilities and engage in activities that are fun, creative and active. Click on our calendar to find the CNO nearest you!
Life Skills programs are 4-6 weeks in length and cover a variety of topics. They are offered at various times throughout the year and rotate through the various communities we serve. Below are just a few of our Life Skills programs. See our calendar for the next Life Skills opportunity!
- Balance: Learn strategies on how to deal with stress in your life.
- Cooking: Increase your independence and confidence in the kitchen while creating healthy meals to share with your family or snacks for after school.
- Fit 4 Youth: Improve your overall wellbeing through fitness, nutrition and wellness techniques.
- For Keeps: Be creative while you preserve, cherish and share your memories by learning how to scrapbook.
- Making Music Magic: Engage games, activities and crafts all related to exploring music as a creative expression and an outlet for emotion.
- Power of You: Increase your power of self-awareness through games and activities.
- Sports Blender: Experience a variety of team sports while being physically active.
Special Events are an important part of our programming. Young Carers can miss out on all kinds of experiences due to the circumstances in their families…going to dinner at a restaurant, spending the day at an amusement park, getting out to community events, etc…things many of us take for granted. Our Special Events strive to increase commonalities between Young Carers and their non-caregiving peers and connections to their community while building their confidence to have success in various social situations. Each month we offer a Special Event. Check out our calendar for the Special Event planned for this month!
A week-long day camp full of crafts, games and activities encourages Young Carers to have fun, relax, and just be kids! Young Carers are often faced with the challenge of balancing school, homework, friends, family, personal interests, and caregiving. Participating in the March Break or Summer Camp presents opportunity for Young Carers to take a break from these responsibilities while enjoying the company of other Young Carers, helping to reduce isolation and stress while connecting socially and making friendships. View our calendar to see when our camps will be offered in your community!
Are you a Young Carer in high school? Join us for our Teen Programs! The program may look like a special event, a workshop, or time to develop some life skills and are often planned according to your suggestions and schedule! Whatever we may be doing you will be sure to have time to build friendships, have a break from your caregiving responsibilities, and learn something that will help you today and tomorrow! Our calendar is the place to find details about our next Teen Program!
Transitioning into adulthood is an exciting and sometimes daunting life stage. Whether you are deciding on post-secondary education, entering the workforce, or needed for daily support for your relative, young adult carers have unique challenges to consider and overcome. Powerhouse Project wants to support Young Adult Carers through this transition. Please contact our Program Coordinators for more information about this new initiative and to register!
Young people have a voice and many gifts and skills to share. Each region has a Youth Advisory Committee to engage carers and those interested in supporting carers. Together they work to strengthen their leadership skills, shape programming, share their first-hand knowledge of being a Young Carer and make a difference. Check out our calendar for the next Youth Advisory meeting in your region.
With the support of our community partners, Powerhouse Project offers opportunities for Young Carers and/or parents to learn about issues facing caregiving families. These workshops may cater to a select group of our members (eg. being a sibling of a special needs child) or to everyone (eg. how to reduce caregiver fatigue). Topics and scheduling of workshops are in response to needs shared by our members. To find out information about upcoming Educational Workshops, view our calendar.
Sometimes a Young Carer might have a lot going on in their lives and a little extra support may be just the thing they need. Our Program Coordinators will visit with individual Young Carers on an as-needed basis. Please call your Program Coordinators for more information.
Powerhouse Project is proud to work alongside many dedicated community agencies to serve our families and families in the broader community. Through partnerships new and dynamic programs are made possible and highlight our commitment to collaboration. They also foster an awareness of the services available in our communities. Below are our current ‘Programs in Partnership’ by region:
- Strengthening Families for the Future – This is a free 14 week program for parents and children who may have experienced school failure, substance misuse or violence and are looking to improve their overall family life, including communication and coping skills. The program is offered in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland with sessions starting in the fall and winter. This program is offered in partnership with John Howard Society of Niagara, Family and Children’s Services, Quest Community Health Centre, Niagara Falls Community Health Center, and Niagara Regional Public Health.
- Kids in Control/Teens in Control – This is a free 8 week program for children and youth of parents with a mental health issue. Through interactive activities children and youth have the opportunity to learn about mental health issues, develop and practice healthy coping strategies, and build resiliency. This program aims to help young people recognize that they are not alone and introduce them to community supports. Kids in Control is for children ages 8-13 and Teens in Control is for high school aged youth. This program is offered in partnership with Family Mental Health Support Network, FACS, and other mental health professionals.
For more information about Niagara Programs in Partnership, please contact our Executive Director.
- The Family Support Night – This is a free monthly program for families with children on the Autism Spectrum. In their own groups, parents, autistic children and their siblings will have an opportunity to develop relationships, learn and build community awareness through fun, interactive activities. This program is offered in partnership with REACH, Autism Ontario and McMaster Children’s Hospital.
For more information about Haldimand-Norfolk Programs in Partnership, please contact our Executive Director.
- Provides fun and FREE activities and programs
- Normalizes the Young Carer experience
- Develops coping skills and life skills
- Reduces isolation and stress Young Carers face
- Builds resiliency in caregiving families
- Offers whole family support
- Provides education, information and referrals to other helping hands
To find out more information about any of our programs, please complete our Information Request form.