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Police Minister and MP for Papakura Hon Judith Collins opened Youthtown’s new branch in Papakura yesterday [Eds: Thursday 29 September] at an official function followed by a community open day.
The event included speeches by Youthtown Board Chairman Michael White, Operations General Manager Dion Brown and Youthtown Papakura Branch Manager Graeme Thorpe. The Minister praised Youthtown for its collaboration with local organisations to bring its services to the area for the benefit of South Auckland youth.
Once formalities were over it was all about the children with activities including rock climbing, a hip hop workshop and a collaborative art project to entertain and delight during the open day. The new Papakura branch will provide 10-13 year-olds with an exciting hub which will provide the region’s young people with fulfilling physical, social and creative experiences.
The team will continue to strengthen its In-Schools Sport Coaching Programme which is currently delivered to 20 schools reaching over 700 kids per week within the Counties Manukau area.
The branch will now also provide holiday programmes and after school activity for 10-13 year olds in the area from Term 1, 2012.
Ms Collins commented at the launch how impressed she is with the extraordinary range of skills and talents our young people have.
“There is no more important task than encouraging the next generation to make the most of their opportunities and to achieve their full potential in life. I’m confident Youthtown’s official presence in Papakura will help strengthen and expand its core-based programmes and activities to benefit more school pupils in our district.”
Youthtown Papakura Branch Manager Graeme Thorpe added; “We have been active in the community for the past 18 months through our In-Schools Sport Coaching Programme and so we’re delighted to now have a physical presence in Papakura.
“We’re all about providing young people with opportunities for fun and adventure, kicking-off in October with the launch of our school holiday programme,” he adds. “We have an action-packed line up of activities on offer including: abseiling, jet boating, mountain biking, a trip to Rainbow’s End, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing and urge parents to get in quick as places are strictly limited.”
The organisation turns 80 next year and since first opening its doors as Boys Town in 1932 it has grown and evolved into one of New Zealand's leading youth organisations. Youthtown currently has branches in North Shore, Panmure, Auckland Central, Taupo, Upper Hutt and Oamaru, with firm plans to extend to Christchurch in coming months and a vision of 20 branches by 2020.