Raise Up pro­gramme ar­rives

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Tag­ging is the first tar­get of a new pro­gramme by Palmer­ston North’s YMCA.

Raise Up for 14 to 24-year-olds is a na­tional pro­gramme with the aim of help­ing young peo­ple into com­mu­nity lead­er­ship roles.

YMCA’s youth work co­or­di­na­tor Jenn Chap­man said the Raise Up group was about giv­ing youth a fo­rum and a pos­i­tive voice in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘It’s pro­mot­ing pas­sion­ate youth voices for pos­i­tive changes in the com­mu­nity - youth for youth by youth - and recog­nis­ing that their views and opin­ions are valid. It’s aimed at en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple to be­come lead­ers and am­bas­sadors for the youth com­mu­nity.’’

Chap­man said the pro­gramme had been run­ning suc­cess­fully in Auck­land and Hamil­ton.

Ev­ery 10 weeks the lo­cal Raise Up crew will fo­cus on a cho­sen topic for which they raise aware­ness, or­gan­ise events, lobby, pe­ti­tion, vol­un­teer, work with high schools, and speak in pub­lic.

‘‘The cur­rent topic is about re­duc­ing tag­ging, and how to pro­mote cre­ative ex­pres­sion in a safe and le­gal way.’’

Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil’s Kee­gan Aplin-Thane said tag- ging re­moval costs in the city were nearly $7500 a month.

The project will cul­mi­nate in a pub­lic event or­gan­ised by the group in The Square in late Au­gust as well as some­thing for Oc­to­ber’s EcoFest.

Chap­man said Raise Up of­fered op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­volve­ment in team build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, sport and recre­ation days, event or­gan­i­sa­tion and man­age­ment, and lead­er­ship train­ing.

So far, there are six peo­ple in the group. Chap­man said the aim was to ex­pand that to 20, and mo­ti­vate teens who would like to make a difference in their com­mu­ni­ties and learn new skills.

‘‘They are all from dif­fer­ent back­grounds with dif­fer­ent strengths, skills and ex­pe­ri­ence. If it wasn’t for Raise Up, they prob­a­bly wouldn’t have come across one an­other, and de­spite their di­verse back­grounds they work quite well to­gether.’’

Raise Up unashamedly uses free food as a re­cruit­ment tool. It’s weekly lead­er­ship and team build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties are hosted on Friday af­ter­noons up­stairs at Burger King.

‘‘Be­ing a part of the Raise Up Crew has the po­ten­tial to shape young peo­ple into proac­tive, pos­i­tive, in­de­pen­dent lead­ers of the fu­ture,’’ Chap­man said.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

Raise Up crew mem­bers from left, Re­becca Choy, Raise Up fa­cil­i­ta­tor Lucy Terry and Awhina Tapiki.

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