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Keeping the local youth community healthy, safe and engaged.

Working with community groups and providing wraparound youth services, Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre aims to keep young people healthy, supervised, safe and engaged in the community.

It’s also the only youth facility between Whangarei and Auckland.

The centre provides a number of services and programmes. But its 'Friday Night Chill' programme for youth aged 13-16 years has been so popular, that last year the 60+ young attendees asked if the programme could be extended to Saturdays to include sports and recreation.

Knowing that a large number of those young people are unable to join a local sports club, HBC Youth Centre applied to the North Shore Fund for a grant to help with setting up a new amateur sports initiative.

This new 'Competitive Youth Engagement Programme' would be developed, promoted and implemented by youth leaders and volunteers trained by HBC Youth Centre.

A year later and Executive Director Suzanne Booth says that the programme has continued to evolve as the youth have developed new skills, improved their self-esteem and built relationships with their peers.

"We’re so much more than just a Youth Centre. We provide services such as mentoring, counselling and skills-based programmes, which support our young people to improve their self-esteem and self-worth. Our community is also becoming increasingly engaged with us, which helps us to connect with families and whānau to ensure that our young people are cared for and safe."

"When we launched our new Competitive Sports for Youth initiative in July, the competitive activities and sports quickly took flight! As well as supporting their health and wellbeing, the older children have established mentoring relationships with some of the younger ones, helping them to develop skills such as leadership and responsibility."

"The feedback we get from our young people is that they know we are here for them; and the parents are glad there is somewhere their children can go that is healthy, supervised and safe."

"Funding such as this is invaluable to community organisations like ourselves, and we’re so grateful to the North Shore Fund for enabling us to provide a safe, friendly space for the youth community."

Photo supplied by Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre.