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Community rallies behind HERO Club in time of need

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In the aftermath of the Feb. 7 fire that destroyed the Bond Building, Dauphin has rallied and found a temporary home for the Dauphin HERO Club.
Maria Kent, manager for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Child and Adolescent Services in the Community Mental Health Program with Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) North announced the Dauphin Friendship Centre will provide a temporary gathering space for club members and staff.
“We very much appreciate the assistance that has been provided in the short-term by Jeremy Smith and his staff at the Dauphin Friendship Centre,” she said.
The Hero Club lost everything in the fire, Kent said, adding the group had been in the Bond Building since 2004.
While the club is still taking stock of its losses, she noted, some of the key pieces lost or damaged were woodworking tools, furniture and other outdoor items, including the well-known hot dog cart.
“HERO stands for Helping Everyone Reach Out, so that’s the mission of the club. Club members know what it’s like to recover from mental illness and so with that experience, they’re able to offer a positive space that supports wellness and recovery,” Kent said, explaining the club is run by its members, offering a variety of social activities, as well as opportunities for skills enhancement, employment initiatives and community activities.
“So the ‘You’ve Been Hugged by Snoopy Campaign’, that’s the campaign that they do during October which is Mental Illness Awareness Week. And they also are a partner with the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society and the Chase the Chill campaign, as well as they’ve partnered with other organizations like Parkland Crossing who has a greenhouse project.”
Although the HERO Club did lose a meeting space, she noted, activities will continue, as members and staff have been contacted and are aware of developments, while they work on plans to re-establish a regular base for the club.
The Dauphin HERO Club and PMH thanks the Dauphin Fire Department, Kent said, and all involved in responding to the fire.
“I just wanted to extend gratitude to the community. I’ve heard there’s been so much outreach and messages of support for the HERO Club and I think that’s so important. And it really highlights how important the HERO Club is to the community, but it’s also very much appreciated. I know the HERO Club loss was a great loss to the members and so I think it’s been wonderful that there’s been that outpouring of support from the community,” she added.
Financial donations to the Dauphin HERO Club may be dropped off at the Dauphin Community Health Services Building, at 625 Third St. SW.
Until a permanent space for the club is found, Kent said, donations of non-monetary items are not being accepted at this time.
For information on HERO Club activities or other program information, contact PMH Community Mental Health Worker James Price at 204-638-2127.
Dauphin is one of four HERO Club sites within the health region along with Roblin, Russell and Swan River. PMH provides co-ordination and other assistance to the HERO Club through its mental health program.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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