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The Stratford District Council, with funding from the Ministry of Youth Development and Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, has employed a Youth Initiatives Facilitator.
“Last year we did a lot of work with Stratford young people,” said Community Services Manager Pauline James. “Part of that was facilitating workshops with Celia Lashlie, Jan Francis and Mary Bourke. We established a list of initiatives that young people said would make them happier and safer in Stratford.”
“Top of the list was a youth centre, a one-stop-shop for young people to feel comfortable, have access to relevant information and services - including education and health - and to have feelings of ownership,” Mrs James said.
From the first week in August, the District Council has employed Ellen Hall as Youth Initiatives Facilitator to undertake a feasibility study and project plan for the youth centre.
“We want to thoroughly research the youth centre concept,” Ms Hall said, “looking at what works well in other places, and what the unique requirements of Stratford young people are.”
Ms Hall will initially be working on a feasibility study which will identify services, programmes, and facilities the centre could provide, consider the cost of the centre and potential benefits, and will include young people in project discussions and planning.
If the project is determined to be feasible, Ms Hall will facilitate a project plan, which will address design and construction, programme and service development, centre operation and governance, risk management, and funding. The project plan will be completed by 31 May 2010.
“We’re conscious that the project needs to be sustainable,” said Mrs James. “By involving young people in the development of the plan the result will be an inclusive and vibrant youth centre.”
Stratford young people are invited to be a part of the youth centre project. Call 06 765 6099 for more information.