New home for youth services

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Pictured checking out the new artwork being completed (at rear) by Ashburton College Year 9 students Conner MacKenzie and Hannah O'Reilly are, from left, Juanita Richards, Janet Hadley, BASE and HYPE committee member Tayla Wright and BASE trustee Jenny Reed.

By Mick Jensen

Ashburton youth service providers BASE and HYPE have a new, centrally located shared space to call their own.

Youth centre BASE and health support service HYPE are now located in the former Latter Day Saints building at 193 Burnett Street.

The large space is also shared with maori youth support worker Juanita Richards, who works for social service provider He Waka Tapu.

HYPE co-ordinator Janet Hadley, who is also on the BASE committee, said her sign was out and she was open for business.

The youth services would now be referred to as BASE at 193 and HYPE at 193.

A new BASE co-ordinator would be appointed very soon and would have that service up and running at the venue.

Mrs Hadley said the shared space was light and airy and offered a large open plan area, waiting area, offices, kitchen, meeting room and courtyard space that would be developed.

“It is really easy for local youth to access our services and to walk in off the street.”

HYPE offered a free confidential service to the district’s youth aged between 12 and 24 years, including advice, information, advocacy and support.

It was only between 3pm and 5pm every weekday and also by appointment.

BASE offered a safe environment for those aged between nine and 14 years to “hang out”, have fun, do homework or to be involved in co-ordinated activities like cooking.

The new venue would offer free wi-fi and included a number of items generously donated by the community, said Mrs Hadley.

A competition to design a new logo for the new location will be one of the first activities on the youth programme.

Supporters of the venue will also be wheeling a wheelbarrow of raffle prizes around businesses over the coming days, with proceeds to be used to fund an IT equipment upgrade.