Upper Hutt Leader
Youthtown has been in Upper Hutt only five years but last week the local branch had an 80th birthday party.
The organisation began in Auckland 80 years ago. Five years ago Upper Hutt became the first branch outside Auckland.
To mark the occasion each branch is contributing items for a time capsule to be opened in 10 or 20 years.
Upper Hutt gave a skateboard, photo of Upper Hutt from Riverstones and a shot of the organisation's 2012 Urban Unity Squad.
A rather large time capsule will be needed as another branch has already donated a scooter, iPad and rugby ball, to represent items of importance to youth in 2012.
Youthtown's national chief executive, Keith Thorpe, told the birthday celebration at the branch in Railway Ave on Thursday afternoon that it was "pretty special that they managed to survive that length of time [80 years]" and it had changed focus to match local needs. It now has four branches in Auckland, plus Taupo, Upper Hutt, Oamaru and Christchurch.
In Upper Hutt it runs an after school programme for children aged 7 to 13 and a teen programme through the Urban Unity Squad.
Mr Thorpe congratulated Upper Hutt branch manager Jade Eru and her team for the "fantastic" job they had done turning a warehouse into their new base since they moved in October.
Board member Vikki Lee Goode from Auckland said Youthtown is about what's important to young people.
City councillor Glenn McArthur thanked Youthtown for the "valuable contribution" it made to local youth.
- Upper Hutt Leader
Should the Rimutaka and Upper Hutt rugby clubs merge?Related story: (See story)