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Alex House has plenty to offer


By most accounts 2023 was a fast and furious year, as we all struggled to figure out what our new post-pandemic reality would look like.

Behind the curtain of the pandemic, Alex House was growing, and over past three years our childcare programs more than tripled in size, from 120 spaces to over 600 spaces this past year.

Our decision to actively develop child care is tied to our roots as a neighbourhood house, as we grow with the communities we are in, we work to meet the emergent needs of our neighbours. In 2010, we learned about the overwhelming need for child care in Surrey/White Rock, and in 2011 we opened our first program at Kensington Prairie Community Centre.

In 2024 we have more than 17 sites, with six more coming, always keeping in mind our vision – to contribute to a vibrant, inclusive, and caring community. Our early childhood educators are deeply committed to their work, and contribute to our vision every day, engaging and learning alongside the children and families they support.

Our community and youth and family teams also work tirelessly to meet the needs of our community, integrating our grassroots approach with their day-to-day activities. They anchor their work in the concept of reciprocity, whether a youth driven approach or a volunteer driven community garden, people contribute.

While reciprocity has recently entered the mainstream, it is what has always made neighbourhood houses unique, distinguishing our approach from other service driven organizations. At the heart of neighbourhood houses are the people who contribute their skills, interests, and passions.

Without volunteers stepping up to teach classes, host activities, or offer their skills in our existing programs, we would not be able to do what we do. Reciprocity is hinged on the idea that we need each other to thrive. That helping others, also helps ourselves. There have been studies that link reciprocity to one’s overall wellness, that in return for one’s contributions, there are positive impacts on their wellbeing.

At Alex House some examples of activities that have been driven by volunteers are and are examples of reciprocity in action are: the English Corner and Tea & Chat for newcomers, the Knitting Circle, and more recently Spanish for Beginners.

The Repair Café that runs at Alex House is another example of community members coming together to meet a need, and make a difference.

Our community gardens intentionally include a volunteer component, where members host their own gardens, but also grow food for the food bank or volunteer at Alex House. In the past we have had walking groups, games nights, and other social recreational activities that community members offered for their neighbours.

If you have ideas for activities, and you would like to lead a program at Alex House you can connect with Susan at

We would love to have more happening at Alex House, but we need your help to make things happen.

We will also be hosting a community conversation later this year, where you will have opportunities to brainstorm activities, meet like-minded people, and to make a difference in your community! Let’s take care of ourselves, by caring for each other – this is the heart of reciprocity.

For more information please check out our website at or our Facebook page at

Stay warm, and well!

Penny Bradley is the executive director of Alex House