A new program in the Byron Shire, is set to re-activate the Byron Youth Activity Centre (YAC) and employ a Youth Activities Coordinator.
The Byron Youth Service will receive a $231,840 grant from the NSW Government to re-establish YAC.
The program, aptly named YACtivate, will implement of a number of initiatives including youth forums, wellbeing groups, civic leadership programs and creative workshops to create resilience and leadership among youth in the Byron Community.
Nationals Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin praised the work of the Byron Youth Service in reactivating the YAC.
“This is an incredibly important step by the Byron Youth Service in supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of young people in the community,” Mr Franklin said.
“This kind of action is crucial, especially for those who may not have access to this in their home lives and I absolutely support the Byron Youth Activity Centre and the work they do to provide a safe space for young people to go, learn, meet new people and have fun.
“Everyone deserves a chance to be the best version of themselves and YACtivate will make sure that young people are given that chance.”
A range of holiday, after-school & night time community youth programs will be established at the YAC in consultation with young people including artistic exhibitions, creative workshops, youth forums/consultation, wellbeing groups, civic leadership programs and safe social events.
Mr Christian Tancred, Community Engagement Officer and Manager of Byron Youth Service said the funding would make a huge difference to BYS.
“We really operate on the smell of an oily rag so this funding is critical in addressing a severe lack of engaging, educational and relevant activities for young people in our community and we are grateful to Ben for his ongoing support,” Mr Tancred said.
“BYS has a new sense of purpose and rigour in service delivery and with 3 years of funding for youth activities we are looking forward to revitalising the YAC as a space for creativity and recreation for all young people.
“The activities will focus on creativity, music and arts as a soft entry point to supportive pathways into adulthood for our young people.
“I’m pretty pumped about it, the YAC is back baby!”
YACtivate is a suite of early-intervention strategies focusing on young people and is designed to help reduce the rate of youth-related crime, drug and alcohol offenses and assault and disorderly behaviour, and create more positive outcomes for their future.
The Byron Youth Service is still offering support during Covid-19 and people can reach out to them on their Facebook or Instagram page, call their caseworker or contact the office on 02 6685 7777 to leave a message and someone will return your call.