Community Partnership: The Halifax Wanderers are teaming up with the QEII Foundation to support mental health care

Soccer players practice on a soccer field with a hospital in the background.

Halifax Wanderers players practice at the Wanderers Grounds with the Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building at the QEII in the background. (QEII Foundation) 

On April 26, the Halifax Wanderers announced they're launching a community fundraiser during the soccer club's 2024-25 season to raise funds for enhancements to the Abbie J. Lane Gymnasium at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. 

The Abbie J. Lane is home to Mental Health and Addictions programs and services, meeting the needs of both inpatients and outpatients accessing mental health treatment. The gym is crucial for each patient's health and well-being.

"We're thrilled that the Halifax Wanderers are rallying their passionate fanbase to support enhancing mental health care for patients in our community," says Susan Mullin, president and CEO, QEII Foundation. 

"Donors and community partners like the Wanderers are critical to our mission to advance health care through the QEII. We are grateful for their generosity." 

The QEII Foundation is raising $340,500 to modernize the gym, creating a more functional, multi-purpose space enhanced with safety features. New group-focused equipment and games like soccer, pickleball and badminton will strengthen patient collaboration and social engagement.

During a patient's time at the Abbie J. Lane, exercise and recreational activities are key to their treatment and care, helping to reduce depression and anxiety and improve self-confidence and daily functioning.

That's why it's so important to ensure patients have access to exercise in a structured, safe environment designed for their needs. 

Derek Martin, founder and president of the Halifax Wanderers says the partnership between a "professional sports club and our neighbours at the QEII is an ideal collaboration." 

“From the day we launched this club, our mission has been consistent, to make our community stronger through the power of sport, so I personally could not be more proud of this initiative and the role that together we can all play in supporting the mental health of our community,” he says. 

In 2023, 529 people received inpatient and outpatient care at the Abbie J. Lane, with inpatients spending an average of 40 days at the site. In some cases, patients can't leave the facility; the gym offers a safe space for connecting with others. 

The project is part of the QEII Foundation's $100-million We Are campaign to transform health care through the QEII. Enhancing the Abbie J. Lane gym will provide patients with better access to care, one of the campaign pillars.


To learn more or to donate to the Abbie J. Lane Gym Enhancements project, visit 

If you or a loved one needs help now, the Provincial Mental Health and Addictions crisis line is always available at 1 888 429 8167.