Wahi Taitamariki (Youth space) offered by The SKYouth Trust.

SKYouth Trust of Te Awaroa Helensville has been operating out of the South Kaipara Men’s Centre on Awaroa Road and offering a free drop-in space for college-aged youths, every Friday 3.30pm – 6pm during the school term. They are now expanding their opening hours to include Thursdays, inviting year 8 students to come on this day and grow connections before transitioning into college.
So far, the space has proved popular, with local youth enjoying a range of activities like cooking, basketball and boxing alongside just ‘hanging out’ with music and friends in a safe environment. “Planning and implementing their own ideas as well as opportunities to develop leadership skills are encouraged” says SKYouth Trust representative and Community Youth Worker Jeanette Cummings, who sees her involvement as complementary to the student support work she does for the Helensville Women & Family Centre at Kaipara College.
While the young people are supervised by youth workers, the Trust is interested in community volunteers who may like to share a skill or cultural experience by registering their interest as a mentor forWahi Taitamariki. In particular, youth have asked for carving, building and ways to express themselves through art. SKYouth Trust would also like to grow cultural experiences in this space and welcome ideas from our Maori and Pasifika communities. SKYouth express a strong emphasis on creating a safe space, supportive of diversity and with an understanding of youth depression. Information and pathways to connect young people and their whanau to other support in these areas will be available. “Whanau movie nights and a disco are in the planning stages and sub-committees inclusive of youth and community would be a great combination to bring these to fruition”, says Jeanette. The SKYouth Trust are hopeful that by 2021 this youth space will be open three days a week with a collective of local volunteers and the opportunity for activities to spill over into the school holiday period. They would also like to thank the South Kaipara Men’s trust for making this space available for them to share. Please feel free to register your interest as a volunteer / mentor by contacting Jeanette at cummingsjeanette@yahoo.com or visit SKYouth Facebook page.

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