BYS plan wins accolades

CELEBRATING YOUTH: Di Mahoney and Stephanie Sims of the Byron Youth Service celebrate their nomination as one of three finalists in The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust- Corporate Managers Award.
CELEBRATING YOUTH: Di Mahoney and Stephanie Sims of the Byron Youth Service celebrate their nomination as one of three finalists in The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust- Corporate Managers Award. Kate Oneill

A BYRON Youth Services project to establish a drug and alcohol-free reserve for young people has been selected as one of three finalists in The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust- Corporate Managers Award.

The award is part of the NSW/ACT Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

The program is initiated by PRIME7 and supported by the Commonwealth Bank and recognises groups, business, individuals and communities who play a vital role in enhancing the social, environmental and economic prosperity of rural NSW and the ACT.

It was developed to recognise incorporated bodies including local councils, community associations, sporting bodies or reserve administrators managing and caring for Crown reserves which include parks and sporting facilities, community welfare facilities and other community assets.

As corporate managers for the Byron Youth Activity Centre, Byron Youth Services (BYS) has worked with the local community to enhance and develop a safe, drug and alcohol-free reserve for use by young people and families within the community.

BYS has created a centre with landscaped outdoor areas, sustainable food garden beds for use in youth programs, installed security lights and set up water re-use projects which have allowed the reserve to become an education and social hub for the local community.

BYS director Di Mahoney said she was thrilled that BYS was a finalist.

"The award is a reflection of the community's support for young people," she said.

Recently the Centre raised more than $43,000 to build a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen.

Through partnerships with local businesses including the Byron Region Community College and local schools, the youth centre has been able to provide training initiatives and opportunities.

"With more than 92 volunteers and paid staff, BYS hopes it can continue to grow the Youth Activity Centre and improve the lives of youth in a safe and beautiful reserve environment," Di said.

The winner will be announced on October 27.

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