29 April 2013

Youth workers to get $330,000 support from Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust

Around 26,000 young people in Canterbury will get better support from 200 youth workers thanks to a $330,000 grant from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust scheduled to be announced tomorrow at 10am in Christchurch by Minister of Youth Affairs Hon Nikki Kaye at a gathering of youth workers.

The funding will provide care and support to youth workers and youth organisations who have been struggling to support greater volumes of young people with more complex issues since the earthquakes. The Appeal Trust funds will provide all youth workers the opportunity to have training and supervision, as well as strengthen their vital networks.

John Harrington, Canterbury Youth Workers Collective Coordinator says: “This is a huge boost for the youth sector and will help support the well being of the youth sectors workforce and help build the capacity of the Youth sector post the earthquakes in greater Christchurch. Youth Workers and their organisations have taken on extra work, on top of dealing with their personal stress as a result of the earthquakes, and we need to look after their well being so they can better help Canterbury’s young people.”

The $330,000 grant – supported by local Councils, CERA and the Ministry of Youth Development, Ministry of Education, Family and Community Services – will over the next two years allow for Youth Workers to access professional supervision, counselling and those youth organisations that are struggling will get additional support. Volunteers who help youth organisations will get more support, while Youth Work support networks will be established in Christchurch suburbs. The grant will also help build the capacity of youth councils and reference groups so that young people are better able to have a collective voice in the rebuild of Christchurch.

The Appeal Trust has worked closely with key youth providers and government agencies to identify the gaps in support for Canterbury youth workers and  Canterbury Youth Services and it became apparent that coordinated supervision and training for every single youth worker in Canterbury was a priority and unlikely to be funded in the foreseeable future.

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust Advisory Board Member Anthony Rimell says: “Both the Youth Workers Collective and Canterbury Youth Services are strong and respected organisations. The aim of the Appeal Trust’s support for youth workers is to, in turn, support youth in Canterbury.”

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal has raised over $100 million to date. The Appeal Trust has approved $61 million for projects, while a further $8 million has been pledged for specific purposes and projects. Projects funded to date include: water attractions at the new CCC sports centre for the eastern suburbs; Kaiapoi repairing walkways, cycle ways and other public amenities along the Kaiapoi River; ICT equipment for primary school children; restoration of the Arts Centre; the Re:START mall; the Temporary AMI Stadium; St John emergency equipment; Isaac Theatre Royal; repairing sports fields and netball/tennis courts.

A full list of projects funded by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust is available here.