Funds back youth group

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A Tamahere Youth Action Group, if it gets off the ground, will receive funding of up to $1000 to support its community projects.

Tamahere councillor Aksel Bech is encouraging Tamahere 15-24-year-olds to get involved with environmental initiatives
Tamahere councillor Aksel Bech is encouraging Tamahere 15-24-year-olds to get involved with environmental initiatives

The Waikato District Council is urging the formation of volunteer youth action groups, including in Tamahere, to take a lead in bringing ideas for youth projects and events to their local community boards and committees.

Now, the council has received $10,000 in central government funding to support the initiative.

The money, from the Ministry of Social Development, is tagged for the establishment of youth action groups whose representatives would be a voice for youth on the Tamahere Community Committee, and the committees or boards in other areas where youth groups could be established.

Tamahere councillor Aksel Bech is encouraging 15-24-year-olds to get involved.

“There are great initiatives already underway elsewhere in the district tackling eco and recycling challenges, for example,” he said. “Here’s a great opportunity to be part of a Tamahere group from the very start.”

A report received by the council’s Strategy & Finance Committee this week said the funding for the council’s ‘Govern Up’ programme for youth would mean groups established in each community could be supported with a budget of up to $1000 each to design, develop and run community based youth projects between now and the end of June.

“We’re actively encouraging youth to step forward with their ideas to use this money well,” said council General Manager Strategy and Support, Tony Whittaker.

The council’s Youth Engagement Advisor Shannon Kelly had already helped a youth action group to form in Huntly and was now seeking youth leaders in other areas to do the same thing.

Since Kelly’s appointment under the council’s Youth Engagement Plan, young volunteers in the district had been involved in a wide range of activities including helping with the district’s inaugural youth awards and providing input into community and leisure facilities. Some even stood for election in the local body elections last year resulting in Waikato District youth award winner Sharnay Ormsby Cocup capturing a seat on the Taupiri Community Board.

“We’re encouraged by the spirit of the youth in our district and we’re pleased we’ve been successful in obtaining funding to help support more youth initiatives this year,” said Whittaker.

If you would like to join a youth action group in Tamahere, contact Shannon Kelly on 027 405 6450.

More on this story: Call our for youth leaders

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