Casino Neighbourhood Centre has just opened its new Youth Hub in Canterbury Street.
Youth Programs Coordinator Annika Olsson said the new hub would give young people a safe space to hang out with other youth and access a range of programs and activities to support them.
“We’ve been able to construct a computer lab, kitchen to provide afternoon tea, a lounge cinema area and a fun engaging space,” Ms Olsson said.
“A $15,000 grant from the ETC Community Support Fund assisted with the costs of renovations, furniture and equipment.”
The need for the Youth Hub became apparent to Annika and the Neighbourhood Centre staff as Casino had no safe space or multi-purpose venue for young people.
“Casino has limited youth engagement programs and limited support for young peoples’ social needs. There is a distinct lack of structured recreational activities for youth,” Ms Olsson said.
“By involving young people in a project they are asking for, and particularly by responding to their interests as identified by them they learn life-long skills.”
“We will also develop gateways to further vocational education, nurture the self-esteem that comes with accomplishment and empower young people by enabling them to have agency and ownership of their own space.”
Annika’s message to the local youth “Come and try out this amazing space because it is all yours.”
Local youth Alex was born and raised in Casino and said there had never been anything like this locally.
“When I heard about the new youth hub, I thought wow what a great idea,” Alex said.
The Youth Hub is located at 138 Canterbury Street. For more information contact (02) 6662 2898.
ETC Chairman Rod McKelvey said it was a pleasure to be able to support the Casino Neighbourhood Centre.
“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Mr McKelvey said.
“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.”