TONS OF FUN: Hannah Jenkins, Dana Lyndon and Makayla de Graaf enjoying the Yamba youth hub.
TONS OF FUN: Hannah Jenkins, Dana Lyndon and Makayla de Graaf enjoying the Yamba youth hub. Clarence Valley Council

Pop-up hubs a hit with Valley youth

WHO knew there was so much for young people to do in the Clarence Valley?

Pop-up hubs in Yamba and Grafton are attracting hundreds of young people each week to the free activities on offer, including cooking classes, Friday footy, crafternoons, bouquet making, pizza nights, music and storytelling.

In February the Yamba hub had 115 visits from young people, with Grafton's hub topping 900 visits.

Liana Wheeler, 12, of Yamba has been a regular at the weekly Masterchef cooking classes in Yamba, where youth took over the kitchen at the Treelands Drive Community Centre.

Liana said it was a lot of fun because they got to do all the cooking themselves, and then ate what they made.

"I like how they let us have a turn and let us learn,” Liana said.

"If we muck up it's ok because they're teaching us that it's by making mistakes that you learn.”

Crystal Robbins of Yamba said the after-school activities were a welcome addition to her 11-year-old daughter Mikayla's week.

"Apart from going to the beach or skating, there wasn't much to do around here, so this is good, it's giving her something to do,” Ms Robbins said.

The after-school youth-inspired activities are run as part of Clarence Valley Council's Out of the Box program at the Our Healthy Clarence pop-up hubs in Yamba and Grafton, which are operated by New School of Arts Neighbourhood House.

NSOA co-ordinator of community hubs Giane Smajstr said the hubs "address the need in the community for a drop-in space for youth”.

Ms Smajstr said the hubs were about providing things for young people to do, and about forming relationships between youth workers, volunteers and youth in the hope that young people would feel comfortable to talk about things that were going on in their lives.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/nsoanh and www.ourhealthyclarence .org.au.



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