There is no doubt that the Beacon Club, found on Campbell River’s island highway by the ocean, is indeed a beacon to its members.
There are two spacious rooms; the room one first enters with large windows lighting a lounge area with a carpet, coffee tables and a couch, behind the lounge area are tables and chairs on a practical and attractive wooden floor. Pre-Covid 19, this was where members ate the hearty meals prepared in the adjoining room kitchen where staff members, often with help from members, whip up hot meals every day.
After eating, members could then hang out, read a variety of magazines, ‘Mindful’, ‘Popular Science’ ‘Visions’, visit with friends, play pool or participate in various activities. The walls are decorated with paintings, both donated by community organizations and painted by Club members.
Today because of the Covid pandemic, the chairs are stacked on top of the tables and only 6 members are allowed per day.
The Beacon Club is a local non-profit organization which has been supporting people with mental health issues for almost 25 years. Its primary funder is the Vancouver Island Health Authority, Mental Health Services. The space next door to the Beacon Club is now vacant providing an ideal opportunity for expansion to the Club.
The present two-roomed building usually hums with the conversation and live music-playing of up to 30 members; it’s a crowded scene. Another space the same size would give everyone a bit more breathing room and accommodate more members.
There is a great need for spaces like the Beacon Club where people who are often vulnerable and ill-equipped to deal with too many people, or too much noise or stress, can safely be.
All the members have been diagnosed with mental illness and recommended to The Club by their support worker in Mental Health.