Horowhenua District Council (HDC) and local youth services provider Life to the Max begin a partnership today to enhance Youth Space at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō.
The partnership sees Life to the Max begin a one-year contract to develop and deliver youth programming at the Youth Space.
Under the contract, Life to the Max will run the Youth Space seven days a week, delivering meaningful youth development opportunities, including youth-led projects, school holiday programmes and events.
Life to the Max General Manager Debbie Baker said the service would work in collaboration with local young people to create a diverse, vibrant programme of activity.
“This is about developing a programme with young people, for young people. We plan to run focus groups with local youth, consult with the colleges, and establish a board of young people to help guide the strategic direction of Youth Space and shape our programmes and services,” she said.
“We aim to engage a wide range of young people reflecting different cultures, backgrounds, interests and abilities.”
Having a diverse programme would expose young people to new opportunities, Ms Baker said.
“Young people need to see and experience different things to find their own passions and aspirations. We want to offer them a programme that includes activities they wouldn’t normally experience, such as stone carving, audio engineering, different arts, music … all sorts.
“Youth Space has fantastic facilities, including recording studios and a radio station, and we’re keen to make the most of the value they can offer for our local youth.”
She said working in the Youth Space was a natural fit for Life to the Max.
“We are a youth service – we engage with young people every day and we can offer linkages with other wrap-around services we run to support young people, such as coaching, mentorship and social work.”
Horowhenua District Council Community Development Advisor Sophie Parrant said the partnership with Life to the Max meant Youth Space would have greater resources to deliver higher levels of service.
“Council is delighted to have a dedicated youth service looking after the Youth Space. Life to the Max can deliver consistency and have the capacity to staff the Youth Space in the afternoons, weekends and school holidays’ she said.
Previously, the Youth Space was coordinated by a Council Youth Development Advisor, who resigned earlier this year.
“Although having a Council coordinator worked well most of the time, resources were sometimes stretched, with other Council teams having to provide support without necessarily ‘owning’ the Youth Space programme. When the coordinator resigned it presented an opportunity to look at how we could do things better,” Ms Parrant said.
“Now we have a whole service dedicated to making the Youth Space work and taking ownership of its programmes.”