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