Jumping for joy with the funding news, New England Youth InSearch Community Co-ordinator Rebecca Banks, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and I C YOUth Directors Rosemaree and Glenn Deas.
Wednesday, 13 May 2020
YOUNG people in Inverell needing advice on homework, support with mental health or a safe place to hang out with friends will be able to access all they need from a new youth centre, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $208,820 State Government grant for the exciting project.
Mr Marshall said the grant, awarded to I C YOUth, would be used to convert an old industrial building in the town’s CBD, into a much-needed dedicated youth centre.
“Since last year, Rhonda Mason and her hard-working team, have been supporting at risk youth from an old industrial building on Vivian Street,” Mr Marshall said.
“This grant will effectively turn what is a large shed, into a modern and inviting workspace with meeting rooms, learning areas and plenty of capacity to conduct group exercise and indoor sports.
“To achieve this, new flooring will be laid over the existing concrete, exposed metal walls will be clad and painted and the entire roof will be lined.
“A new amenities block, with both male and female toilets, will also be added to the site, allowing the facility to meet planning regulations.
“If Inverell is to thrive into the future everyone needs to do their bit to help those who are struggling or are in poverty and provide them with the support, they need to allow them to become active participants in the community.
“Inverell does not have a PCYC like Armidale and Moree, but this will be something very similar.
“I’m excited about the positive work I C YOUth is doing already and look forward to seeing the social benefits which result from the new youth centre.”
I C YOUth Coordinator Rhonda Mason said the youth centre will deliver improved social outcomes for the community.
“This funding realises a dream Inverell has had, to reduce issues like youth homelessness, mental health and drug and alcohol abuse,” Ms Mason said.
“Along with the development of the youth centre, this grant will also support its initial operating costs including utilities, rent and the wages of various support staff.
“This entire project is ready to go with Inverell Shire Council already approving the Development Application and certain materials needed for the fit out of the youth centre already ordered.
“Understanding there are certain restrictions on placed due to COVID-19, it is my hope we will have work on the youth centre complete and ready to deliver drop-in services by the start of the Term 3, in July.
“Once operational this space will be like non-other which exists in Inverell, offering free homework assistance after school, dance and drama activities art programs, yoga classes, karaoke events, games nights and leadership and mentoring programs.
“I have worked with Inverell’s young people between the ages of 12 and 25 for many years, and there are so many out there who have the potential to be great leaders and role models for their peers, but they just need pointing in the right direction.
“Long term, I am confident this facility is going to help with reducing local crime rates and deliver better health outcomes and better job prospects for our leaders of tomorrow.”