Go­ing to have a good time

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

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.

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