Youth get groove back

By JULIA ILES

julia.iles@dailyexaminer.com.au

A SMALL but dedicated group of young people is organising a dance to bring good, clean fun back to Grafton.

It will be the first event designed to kick off the program designed by the Clarence Valley Youth Committee.

"There is nothing for youth in Grafton and I am doing this to keep my friends away from drugs and alcohol," committee chairman Kristy Cowley said, who has seen some of her friends affected by substance abuse.

"We are hoping that Wesboy will DJ and that we will get about 500 people there; the dance is for under 18s only so that we can keep it alcohol free."

The event will be held on February 17 at the Grafton Community Centre. Buses will be available for young people based in outlying areas such as Copmanhurst, Maclean and Coutts Crossing.

At the moment there are 13 young people on the committee, and each member has been teamed up with an older person who is able to provide advice and mentoring.

"I am doing all of the work, but if I get stuck, Jodie Johnson (a TAFE Community Services officer) helps me out," Ms Cowley, 15, said.

"It's been a lot of work especially as most of the kids on the committee work as well, including me ? I work at Donut King."

The committee hopes to secure a location for a youth centre that can host a variety of activities.

"It's not safe for people to walk the streets at night," Ms Cowley said.

"In the future we are hoping to have a place where youth can just hang out, but (we) don't have such a place at the moment and are using this event to kick off the activities for the year."

It is Ms Cowley's hope that more people will get involved with the committee. The next Clarence Valley Youth Committee meeting will be held next Monday at the Pullen's Building in Prince St starting at 7pm.



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