June 13th, 2024

Local coalition wants to know ‘What Matters to Hatters’

By KENDALL KING on February 23, 2023.

Highlights from the What Matters to Hatters Coalition's community survey show parks, trails and paths are among Hatters favourite aspects of the city.--NEWS FILE PHOTO

kking@medicinehatnews.com

The What Matters to Hatters Coalition is continuing to develop and enhance projects that promote kindness and community after receiving feedback from city residents.

The coalition – founded through a partnership between the AHS Addiction and Mental Health division, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the City of Medicine Hat and the Veiner Centre – launched a community survey in late 2021, in hopes it would highlight new or existing project opportunities.

The survey closed mid-January, and while its full report has not yet been released, coalition member Michelle Sauvé says members are pleased with the feedback received from it.

“We had 228 Hatters respond,” Sauvé told the News. “We were pleasantly surprised to see a broad range of individual ages respond. We had people as young as age nine to well over 75 respond.

“The greatest number of responses were from people ages 40-59, but we saw a good portion from 25-39 and 60-74, as well. So, it’s good to see a fairly good representation across the lifespan.”

With a relatively diverse survey population, Sauvé says the coalition gained valuable insight into existing or potential initiatives, innovations and events which community members believe do now or could in the future enhance quality of life in Medicine Hat.

“The top things that Hatters love about Medicine Hat are our trails, paths and parks,” said Sauvé. “(As well as) the sense of community – how friendly, generous and kind Hatters are … So, those were really the things that stood out.

“Some of the events that people have really enjoyed in the last little while are the Together Again event; people really appreciate the many cultural events we have in our community, and access to low-cost or no-cost family events as well.”

The coalition hopes to release the full survey report in the coming months, but in the meantime, members are focused on solidifying the details of a yet-to-be-announced project.

“We have begun engagement with community partners to work on a project that was identified through the survey,” said Sauvé. “We are not announcing what we’re doing yet … But it’s a big endeavour which will help to do all the things that we’ve said we want to do within our mission and vision. And so, we are investing our time and energy in planning for that for the fall.”

Despite the survey being complete, Sauvé says the coalition is still welcoming feedback from Hatters, and asks that it be emailed to whatmatterstohatters@gmail.com.

She also encourages Hatters to remain informed by following the coalition’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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