Mentoring centre for Tweed youth

FURNITURE restoration will soon be used as a mentoring exercise for troubled youth.

Late last month it was announced Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre would receive $84,000 to fund the construction of a Youth Mentoring and Recycling Shed.

The program will create a workshop space for young people and seniors in the community to work on projects and restore furniture for the op-shop, which is attached to the centre.

Community facilitator and centre coordinator Angela Maxwell said the program would address a distinct shortfall in opportunities available to young people to connect with their community.

“It will provide authentic work tasks with suitably trained mentors,” Ms Maxwell said.

According to Ms Maxwell, the neighbourhood centre is constantly swamped with demands from job agencies, youth services and youth justice system partners to provide work experience and placement opportunities for youth.

“It will be a safe and rewarding environment for young people to have recreational, vocational and social interactions with peers and mentors,” she said.

The neighbourhood centre is part of the state government’s Community Building Partnerships program.

Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provost said he was impressed by the centre’s application and rationale for the project.

“It will allow young people to be mentored by seniors, promoting motivation, language and literacy,” Mr Provest said.

“Pottsville has had some issues with youth down there, and the mentoring program seeks to engage them through work and promotes a mutual respect between seniors and young people.”

Nine other not-for-profit organisations on the Tweed received a total of $411,000 under the program.

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