Website 'all about what's best for helping the young'

JAMES GREENLAND
Last updated 13:00 10/05/2013
4Youth website

LIVE: A screengrab of the 4Youth website.

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A new website aims to give Nelson and Tasman young people better access to key youth services.

The directory website 4Youth.org.nz went live this week. It groups contact details and information about a range of local and national agencies that young people might find useful, from health and well-being and educational institutes, to financial, legal and recreational services.

Nelson Tasman Youth Workers Collective co-ordinator Deanne Kilpatrick said the site's "youth-friendly" interface would appeal to people aged between 12 and 24, who tended to use the internet to find information, rather than hard copy directories.

"The problem with directories is that you kind of need to know what you are looking for before you can find it," Jenna Baxter, a youth support adviser for Nelson Tasman Connections, said.

She said the new site could be navigated based on young people's general needs, rather than by brand or business name. "It's all about what's best for helping young people." The 4Youth website was an initiative of the Nurturing Resilient Youth project, launched in 2011, and has involved the co-operation of a number of Nelson Tasman organisations, including the Nelson City Council, the Youth Workers Collective, Connections, and Nelson Bays Primary Health, which fronted $4000 for web development costs.

Ms Kilpatrick said the council had provided an extra $1500 for marketing the site, while the main investment had been in man hours committed to the project during the last couple of years. The web developer was a contractor from the West Coast.

There were still a few bugs in the site, but they would be worked out over the coming months, Ms Kilpatrick said. "Good things take time."

Statistical analysis of the pages receiving the most hits could give agencies an indication of which services were the most sought-after by young people.

NBPH primary care services manager Jane Kinsey headed the working group that commissioned the website.

She said her organisation and many others had invested considerable time in the 4Youth project and they were pleased to see it finally launched.

"We look forward to continuing to improve and contribute to it.

"The start of a journey, you might say," she said.

She said NBPH and other agencies would continue to support the website, by making sure the information and contact details were up to date.

"Try to think about it as a work in progress."

About 50 people representing a range of agencies and groups, and Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio, attended the official launch at the Trafalgar pavilion on Wednesday.

Mr Miccio applauded the site's name, which a panel of young people had come up with, saying it often took a young mind to come up with creative ideas like that.

The crowd was devoid of 12-to-24-year-olds, however.

Ms Kilpatrick said 4pm was not an ideal time for young people, with school hours, and that some had RSVP'd but did not turn up.

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- The Nelson Mail

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