VIDEO: Victoria’s Fairfield neighbourhood installs bench full of emergency supplies

Neighbour Lab creative director Emi Webb and local resident Bob McKechnie reveal the secure, passcode protected box of emergency supplies inside the new Leonard Street Neighbour Hub. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
The Leonard Street Neighbour Hub is one of the first of its kind. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
The new Leonard Street Neighbour Hub holds a number of emergency supplies in a passcode-locked container. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
The brand new Leonard Street Neighbour Hub was unveiled Sunday. The bench stores emergency supplies like blankets, first aid, a flashlight and more. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

If an emergency hits Victoria, Fairfield residents near Leonard Street will have a set meeting place, where they have a secret code to unlock a metal box filled with emergency supplies including tarps, blankets, first aid, a flashlight and more.

A unique cedar structure and bench constructed near the corner of Leonard and Cambridge Street is Victoria’s first ever ‘Neighbour Hub’ where emergency supplies are stored and local neighbours are encouraged to interact and connect.

On Sunday, organizers cut the ribbon on the hub and showed of its multi-purpose design, which includes a solar-powered phone charging station, bulletin board and full-sized bench.

“There is a huge need for communities to come together and prepare now so they can better respond to threats such as earthquakes and extreme weather in the future,” said Emi Webb, Neighbour Lab’s creative director. “By co-creating these unique structures with residents, we hope to make emergency preparedness more tangible, more playful.”

Stacy Barter, learning and community engagement specialist at Building Resilient Neighbourhoods said the project brings together two missions: increasing neighbour-to-neighbour interactions and improving emergency preparedness.

“This design has really been customized for this particular neighborhood,” she said. “And so it might look different in a different neighborhood, you might choose different features that the neighbours’ really want.”

“But this basic concept, we think, could be really beneficial to a lot of places. So we’re interested in exploring that more – this is our prototype.”

Bob McKechnie helped to plan the new Leonard Street Neighbour Hub, which stores emergency supplies and acts as a community meeting location. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Created via a partnership between Building Resilient Neighbourhoods, Neighbour Lab and a group of local residents, the hub was made possible by help from city grants and took about eight months to come to fruition.

Bob McKechnie, a Leonard Street resident and member of the local Block Watch program, helped come up with the idea – although he said at first, it was nothing more than the a box or can that held emergency supplies.

“Then we found out about the idea of getting designers involved and making a community hub out of it,” he said. “The number one thing that keeps you safe is each other. Knowing each other, having some trust built up, knowing each other’s names… so that there’s actually some community connection.”

The emergency supplies stored in the bench aren’t enough for the entire neighbourhood, but will act as a supplement to what each person should already have in their home, McKechnie added.

“It’s a place to meet with a few essentials, but we hope most homes will be prepared.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Stelly’s grads shocked after ‘anonymous friend’ pays for dinner

Friends took limo to Deep Cove Chalet to celebrate after graduation festivities cancelled

Saanich serves up virtual Strawberry Festival

Residents invited to look back on 54 years of festivals

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

VicPD investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Library’s Summer Reading Club goes virtual

This literacy program is usually offered in person

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

Most Read