Widespread support for youth centre


COMMUNITY backing for a Grafton youth centre is increasing after 19year-old Peter Vanlissum appealed for support in Monday's Daily Examiner.

His petition has drawn the attention of residents and community figures who work with youth on a regular basis.

The New School of Arts Links to Learning program co-ordinator, Colleen Kennedy, said she was fully behind the idea.

"It's absolutely needed because these guys have got nothing and if they're sitting around idol, well even the best kid can get into trouble," she said.

"As long as there are structured activities that take time and expend energy it will work."

Ms Kennedy said a youth centre for the town was something everyone needed to get involved in.

"We're right behind the idea. I'd be calling for public meetings and encouraging everyone to go along," she said.

"Activities like art, music and things like that really engage these guys .. and there are a lot of people around the Valley with those skills who I think would would like to give up their time and help."

Councillor Terry Flanagan, who was campaigning for a youth centre in Grafton before the State election, agreed.

"Every kid is not the same and some of them aren't interested in the standard cricket, football and sports that are offered and I think a youth centre is really required if we're going to work together as a community," he said.

"Colleen (Kennedy) does marvelous work over there at the school of arts and those things for young people are really important."

A community meeting regarding the youth centre proposal will be held late next month.

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