Pair ride length of NZ to collect stories of youth success

02:58, Jan 23 2013
Southland Times photo
Number 10 manager Jocelyn Johnstone, left, and youth services manager Ruth McLauchlan are back from a motorbike tour of New Zealand to promote Youth One Stop Shops.

Two Invercargill women on a quest to help struggling youth centres roared back into town yesterday after a week-long motorbike journey around the country to capture stories of young people overcoming adversity.

Number 10 manager Jocelyn Johnstone and youth services manager Ruth McLauchlan rode down both islands to promote the country's 11 Youth One Stop Shops (YOSSes).

The centres are underfunded and often struggling to stay open, Ms Johnstone said.

With the help of Inspiring Stories Trust film-maker Guy Ryan, interviews with young people who had benefited from the centres' holistic approach to mental and physical health were filmed for a promotional DVD.

She hoped the DVD would "highlight the work the centres were doing in New Zealand", she said.

The stories gathered had been hard to hear but inspiring, she said.

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The pair's return to Invercargill yesterday was marked by a motorbike ride and parade along Esk and Kelvin streets.

Number 10 - which had a budget increase from $500,000 in 2012 to $600,000 in 2013 - nearly closed in 2010 because of funding issues.

Ms Johnstone, who said she had not ridden a motorbike since her early 20s, said the idea for the ride came after she bought a second-hand Kawasaki 250 Super Sherpa.

The DVD will be released later this year.

The Southland Times