BackTrack Youth Works’ Steve Bramley, left, and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall survey the site of the new shed and youth space about to be constructed using a $286,781 grant from the State Government.
Monday, 1 March 2021.
THE construction of a new and expanded workspace at BackTrack Youth Works in Armidale is about to bound into action, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today turning the first ceremonial sod of soil on the project alongside students, dogs and educators.
Last year, BackTrack received a $286,781 State Government grant from the Stronger Country Communities Program to extend the service and allow it to support a greater number of participants.
“Over the past three months members of the BackTrack team have been busy demolishing an old building and preparing the site for construction,” Mr Marshall said.
“Currently, they are waiting on final development application approval from Armidale Regional Council, with council supporting to complete stormwater improvements required for work to proceed.
“Just through this one space so many opportunities will be created, with additional room for hands on training and education activities and new shared office area where partner and network services can deliver on site support.
“Also there will be a ‘youth space’, with accessible toilet and amenities, which will be used for sports, work with the BackTrack dogs and interaction with youth workers.
“As soon as approvals are granted it’s going to be straight to work, with the hope construction will be completed by August/September.
“This expansion will ensure more at risk young men and women have the opportunity to benefit from the life changing experiences BackTrack offers.”
Mr Marshall said he was impressed how BackTrack had incorporated the construction project into its education program.
“This is why the BackTrack program works; they maximise every opportunity to provide students with hands on educational experience,” he said.
“Eight young people have been involved just in the demolition and preliminary ground works, gaining 260 hours of on the job training.
“Nine young people and one of BackTrack supervisor, have also gained their excavator driving ticket, giving them a qualification which can be taken out into the workforce.
“BackTrack is renowned for making every single dollar go a long way and I congratulate everyone on the work done already and look forward to seeing the building finished in the latter half of this year.”