Youth Space climbs aboard Win­ter Fest

The Tribune (NZ) - - WHAT'S ON - RICHARD MAYS

Com­plaints about noth­ing for young peo­ple to do in Palmer­ston North are be­ing shrugged off at City Li­brary’s Youth Space.

A Weet­bix eat-off, a haka-off and coin rugby are among ac­tiv­i­ties planned for young peo­ple by young peo­ple for the city’s Win­ter Fes­ti­val on Thurs­day and Fri­day.

Co-Lab was set up to at­tract teens who wanted to be in­volved in plan­ning and putting on public youth-ori­ented events.

Youth Space li­brar­ian Deb­bie Chris­tian said the idea ini­tially at­tracted 20 peo­ple, and set­tled on a core group of 14 teens who brain­stormed events they wanted to see at the Win­ter Fes­ti­val.

The young peo­ple get to put into ac­tion things they’ve learned about run­ning public events on both days of the Ge­orge St street car­ni­val in a mar­quee out­side Youth Space on Cole­man Pl.

‘‘We’ve been tak­ing them through the process of or­gan­is­ing an event. The Win­ter Fes­ti­val was an op­por­tu­nity for them to be­come in­volved, and to work col­lab­o­ra­tively. It was also a chance for them to tell us what they think works,’’ Chris­tian said.

It meant be­com­ing fa­mil­iar with plan­ning, per­mits, health and safety, and se­cu­rity, tar­get age groups, equip­ment, lo­gis­tics, food, and hav­ing enough peo­ple on the ground to co-or­di­nate and su­per­vise the events.

‘‘It made them think through the finer de­tails. It’s about com­mu­ni­ca­tion and lead­er­ship. They have to get on with ev­ery­body.’’

The group had plenty of ideas, and after culling them down to ones that fit­ted the brief, li­aised with fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Karen Hea­phy about the pro­gramme.

Liam Clay­ton, 17, of Te Kura Cor­re­spon­dence School is in charge of the Weet­bix eat-off on Thurs­day be­tween 6pm and 7.30pm, and the haka-off on Fri­day evening. He has or­gan­ised $80 worth of Weet­bix, courtesy of San­i­tar­ium for the dry ‘bix crunch­ing event.

‘‘It’s shown us how much plan­ning that goes into things that you’ve got to think about. It’s go­ing to be good, and will il­lus­trate just how fun Palmy can be.’’

Sap­phire Gor­don, 15, from QEC is in charge of the lolly jar at an­other of the fun-fair style stalls.

‘‘I like how so many peo­ple are in­volved,’’ she said.

Putting on the events, Gor­don said had made her think about things that she didn’t even know she had to think about.

‘‘It's shown us how much plan­ning that goes into things that you've got to think about.’’ Liam Clay­ton, Co-Lab

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WILSON/ FAIRFAX NZ

Co-Lab teens at Youth Space from left, Kav­ish Desai, 15, Sap­phire Gor­don,15, and Liam Clay­ton, 17.

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