Press Release – Youthline
Youthline Manukau has officially opened its new Youth, Family and Community Development Centre in Papatoetoe, a project which has allowed it to greatly expand services to the Manukau region.
Youthline had been based from rented premises in Manukau since 1996, then In 2009 the former Manukau City Council granted Youthline a thirty year lease on the site of the iconic former Papatoetoe Fire station, located at 145 St George Street.
With the generous support of the community, Youthline raised $4 million to rebuild the station.
A large gathering of over 180 people celebrated the event and the unveiling team was:
The Mayor of Auckland Len Brown; Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development and Youth Affairs; Trevor G Thomson QFSM, Ex-Chief Fire Officer, Papatoetoe Volunteer Fire Brigade; Phil Holden, Chief Executive, The Lion Foundation; Ken Whitney, Chair, ASB Community Trust; Mark Powell, Group Chief Executive, The Warehouse Group Limited; Sir Stephen Tindall, Founder The Warehouse Group Limited; Antony Welton, Human Resources Director, Vodafone NZ; Youthline’s CMDHB Youth Advisory Group; Rawiri Wharemate, Youthline’s Kaumatua; Liz Coutts, Youthline Trustee; and Stephen Bell, Youthline CEO
True to Youthline’s core work of youth development, the CMDHB Youth Advisory Group were heavily involved in the opening and took charge of the look and feel of the event right through to the MC’ing.
Among the opening team was Sir Stephen Tindall, founder of The Warehouse who presented Youthline Manukau with a ‘house warming’ gift of $64,000, which was the amount they raised from selling Youthline pens at The Warehouse counters across New Zealand.
Tindall said “It takes a village to raise a child and an essential part of that village is Youthline, that’s why The Warehouse is 100% behind their work.”
A special part of the opening was having Trevor Thomson, Ex – Chief Firefighter of the Papatoetoe Volunteer Fire Brigade speak of the centre’s past purpose and his well wishes for its next journey.
Youthline CEO, Stephen Bell also acknowledged the centre’s heritage.
“Youthline is proud to be working in partnership with the Papatoetoe Community Ex-Fire Fighters Charitable Trust and we are striving to continue their proud tradition of service to the community.”
The opening took place in the ‘Thyme Out at The Station Café’, and was watched over by ‘Little Flick’ a restored fire engine which now calls Youthline Manukau home.
In line with Youthline’s vision of building communities, the new facility houses a number of community organisations including Ivita Health Services Ltd, CMDHB – Kidz First, Youth Law, Project K, Raukura Hauora O Tainui, NZ Aids Foundation, and the St John’s Papatoetoe Youth Division.
Following official proceedings guests were given a tour of the centre where they were shown the ‘Hub’ which provides a base for over sixty volunteers to respond to over 300,000 contacts every year, as well as a performing arts space and various counselling and event rooms.
The centre represents more than a decade of planning and needs analysis and it’ll help enrich the local area through support services, leadership and personal development opportunities.
“We estimate that the projected value of accessible free and low-cost services, programmes and information to the Manukau community will be well over 1 million, annually,” says Bell.
To view photos from the opening please visit the Youthline Facebook page here. A short video clip will also be available online soon.
Some of what the Youthline Manukau centre offers:
• A Cafe and life skills training area which will not only provide great food but also youth cooking classes and barista training opportunities to support healthy eating, nutritional education and the development of life skills.
• Performing Arts area- our ground floor meeting room is being completed with a recycled Rimu floor, so that it can double as a dance, drama poetry and creative arts space.
• A designated area within the centre fostering youth and leadership development through a youth radio station. This is currently an ‘open’ vision ready for inspired individuals to guide its development.
• A connected space, internet enabled for young people or members of the community to access the internet outside home, work or school, providing them with a space for study, learning and developing valuable IT skill.
• Numerous programme, consultation and meeting rooms and event spaces, available for youth development programmes, face 2 face counselling and casual hire for local community groups and businesses.
For over 42 years Youthline has been a first point of contact for young people in New Zealand to access a wide range of youth development and support services. Our primary focus is to engage young people and their families – both those who seek assistance and those who wish to develop themselves.
Our kaupapa is our sense of vision, our mission, our values and the fundamental principles of youth development which guide our mahi (work). At Youthline this is described in our statement of purpose and the interweaving of the three aspects of operation that make Youthline unique.
Fundamentally this can be understood as:
1. Community Development – engaging and involving (young) people
2. People Development – leadership and workforce development
3. Service Provision – providing meaningful and real ways to give back to the community.
Connections Made – April 2011 – March 2012
• 53,000+ Volunteer hours
• 350,000+ Txt messages managed
• 43,000+ Youth helpline calls
• 127,000+Specialty call centre calls
• 190,000 helpline calls in total across 9 contact lines
• 110,000+ Website visits
• 4000+ Face to face sessions (Counselling and Mentoring)
• 14 Students in Youthline Alternative education
• 4,200+ Online members
• 10+Youth advisory groups
• 700+Training sessions
• 140+ Youth Development programmes