YMCA to take over service
Youth Alley has been saved, but one of the two youth worker positions still hangs in the balance.
The Timaru District Council announced yesterday it had reached an agreement with YMCA South and Mid Canterbury which has secured the services for next year.
Youth services were in danger of being lost when the council failed to obtain a government-funded contract this year.
But the YMCA South and Mid Canterbury has agreed to take over the service from next year, with support from the council.
As part of the agreement, the YMCA has committed funding for just one of the existing two youth worker positions, held by Kirsty Henderson and Josh South.
However, YMCA South and Mid Canterbury general manager Keith Shaw said the organisation was trying to secure additional funding for the second position.
''Our preference would be to have a two youth-worker model.''
He wants to hear from any parties interested in supporting the service.
''Our decision to try and retain the Youth Alley service was a simple one. YMCA has a strong focus towards supporting the well-being of young people within our community, and a commitment to working alongside them utilising a strengths-based approach.
''The current positive and supportive services Kirsty and Josh offer young people from Youth Alley reflects our values also and so contributing some of our own funding, over and above the council's financial contribution, so that these services are not lost from our community was our primary driver.'' He said the challenge was to attract sufficient funding, which was ongoing.
''What has been pleasing is the Timaru District Council's ongoing commitment and support of the youth services delivered by Youth Alley over the next three years, which has allowed YMCA to put together a business case to keep the service operating, albeit with only one youth worker employed, unless additional funding is secured between now and Christmas.''
The Timaru Herald