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Something awesome is happening at youth space right now!


Daniel Kepa-Fox

Teenagers! “The Youth Space has been set up with this group of young people specifically in mind”, says Youth Development Team Leader Deon Knox. “During these formative years teenagers have particular needs. They need a place to feel connected, and try new things in their own time and way”. The Youth Space is that place. It’s a safe, alcohol and drug free, interactive, supervised space where teenagers can explore opportunities and interests in their own time and way, develop their own values, and meet other people.

“We try to offer a broad range of activities to help young people develop skills and knowledge that are vital to becoming independent, and we work with many different groups and organisations, including the Palmerston North Youth Council”, says Deon. “The Youth Council were instrumental in making the Youth Space a reality. Their surveys of young people helped to establish the need for a purpose-built facility, and here we are three years on”.

Of the different programmes on offer Deon says “Examples include Cooking with SuperGrans, and our very own Bootcamp which is a physical fitness programme designed to help develop self-discipline, physical ability and commitment. We’re just finishing a Poetry Slam workshop series called AMPLIFY! with 2012 National Poetry Slam Winner Ali Jacs, to help participants develop writing and performance skills and confidence. We’ve also got a number of regular programmes like the book group Books ‘n’ Brunch, and Baking with Auntie Alan. Most of our activities and programmes are free. At the same time, a number of other groups like the Home School Association, and the Correspondence School come in to use the facilities and resources that we have”.

So, what are these facilities and resources? “We have a suite of musical instruments, tablets and computers, the Youth Library, table tennis tables, a small meeting room and a commercial kitchen. Our mezzanine floor provides a great space for small and plenty of space to just chill out. Once school has finished we get a fair number of people who come in to do their homework, and there is support for them here”.

The Youth Space is open to the public from 12-6pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday, and can be booked for youth-focussed events and initiatives outside of these times, by prior arrangement. To contact the Youth Space phone (06) 3514126 or email youthspace@pncc.govt.nz. “It helps if people contact us well in advance” says Deon. “There’s always something happening!”

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