Youth worker bids SW farewell

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

It will come as a shock to many but af­ter al­most 12 years as the Toko­roa Blue Light co­or­di­na­tor Kylie Tatham has left.

Tatham said she will miss work­ing with the youth of Toko­roa but said it was time for a change.

‘‘I will def­i­nitely miss work­ing with lo­cal youth and see­ing lo­cal youth suc­ceed as well,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve said to the schools that the kids you have here and that we have worked with are re­ally tal­ented and you can see the po­ten­tial in them, that is what I’ve loved.’’

She said she has lost count of how many youths she has worked with but said she still recog­nises faces when she runs into them and they recog­nise her.

‘‘Ju­nior touch was one event we ran and you could have any­where be­tween 300 to 400 and the CAC­TUS pro­gramme we ran for three years had 50 kids a year,’’ she said.

‘‘It is a re­ally cool feel­ing when I am in town and kids still greet me and still have re­spect. They all know me.’’

‘‘Work­ing with the kids here has been a priv­i­lege and I’ve def­i­nitely seen pos­i­tive changes.’’

One of those pos­i­tive changes has been a dras­tic drop in tru­ancy.

‘‘We were sit­ting on 90 per cent tru­ancy and that dropped down to 20 per cent so that is a re­ally good thing,’’ she said.

‘‘Youth are my pas­sion and I wish the youth of Toko­roa all the best.’’ As Tatham’s moto says ‘‘I don’t stop when I am tired, I stop when I am done’’ it’s not the end of her youth work. She has now taken up a po­si­tion at the Youth Res­i­dence in Ro­torua.

‘‘I have done noth­ing but youth work. It is all about the kids,’’ she said.

‘‘Kids, they have a lot of po­ten­tial and I see a lot of good in them and I think that is what it is that keeps me go­ing.’’

‘‘If I can put some good into a child’s life and make them smile while work­ing with them through pro­grammes then that’s what it is all about. Giv­ing kids in my com­mu­nity a sense of hap­pi­ness and the knowl­edge that they can and will suc­ceed in any­thing they set their minds to is what I am all about.’’

‘‘It can be a thank­less task but one thing I do know is the kids are al­ways thank­ful,’’ she said. Al­co­hol It was Crate Day on Satur­day and we were quite busy with a huge num­ber of jobs with most of these be­ing al­co­hol re­lated.

Peo­ple need to use com­mon sense around the con­sump­tion of al­co­hol and en­gage the brain be­fore any­thing else.

Bear in mind that one stupid de­ci­sion can have an im­pact for a long time.

An of­fence can now stop you from go­ing over­seas and if you punch some­one and they end up dieing you could spend 10 years of your life in prison. Bur­glar­ies We had four bur­glar­ies in town, most of which re­sulted from in­se­cure prop­erty.

*Se­nior Sergeant Ja­son Hen­der­son COR­REC­TION A Ki o Rahi bat­tle photo in the the South Waikato News last week was in­cor­rectly la­belled and should have been Te Wharekura O Te Kaokaoroa O Patetere which won the year 7/8 grade.

‘‘I will def­i­nitely miss work­ing with lo­cal youth and see­ing lo­cal youth suc­ceed.’’ Kylie Tatham

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Toko­roa Blue Light co­or­di­na­tor Kylie Tatham is mov­ing on af­ter al­most 12 years.

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