Going to have a good time
IF you’re strolling past the Port Douglas Neighbourhood Centre of a Wednesday evening you might hear music and the sound of merriment coming from the back of the building.
It’s veteran local band Benny and the Clones running workshops for teens in a new program set up by the local youth services.
Last week it was especially busy in the little centre as a bunch of teens from the popular Mossman Youth Services arrived to mingle with the Port Douglas crew.
The Mossman kids were there to help promote the Port Douglas youth program which is ooking to rapidly expand by getting its message out there.
“The hardest thing is letting youth know they’re welcome to come here and this is their space and they can let us know how they want it to look and how they want it to be,” said parent and child support worker Nicole Hornby.
“We got a small grant through Douglas Shire Council so we could demonstrate to the local area and the larger funding bodies that it would be great to have regular youth services in Port Douglas, be- cause we’ve got a really good youth program running in Mossman but there’s nothing really in Port Douglas,” she said.
“As a high school teacher, and a child and parent support worker and running a theatre company I saw a need for kids to do something other than sport, dance or surf lifesaving – which are all fantastic things – but there was no niche or area for kids to go, or a place for them to hang out.
“So the grant is there to encourage kids to come to the centre and for us to try and then find out what they wanted and what they needed.
“Last term we ran at their request a cooking program and a drama/debating program and we got a bit of a group going. Other than that they just want to hang out.”
The current program will run until the end of term.
Teens can drop into the centre on Monday and Wednesday, from 4:30 pm till 6:30pm. The kids seem appreciative. Piper (15) said they had enjoyed the board games, the cooking classes and drama and other activities.
It was also a place to meet new people, including those new to the district.