An $181,762 grant by the NSW Government for a mobile youth service that will travel throughout communities in the lower Richmond Valley and Iluka is a wise investment of funds according to Clarence Nationals MP, Chris Gulaptis.
Making the announcement at Evans Head, Mr Gulaptis said the project is the brainchild of the Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre who came up with the idea of developing ‘The Trailer’ program targeting young people who are socially isolated, disengaged and disconnected from the wider community.
Mr Gulaptis said the aim of the mobile youth service is to access hard-to-reach communities, address geographical isolation, and extreme transport limitations.
“The mobile service will travel throughout Evans Head, Iluka, Woodburn, Broadwater, Coraki and Box Ridge Aboriginal community five nights a week.
“This is a terrific project that I know will make a real difference on the ground as it will run on a grassroots level and by a terrific organisation who is really connected with their local community,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“We need to give our young people more than lip service and I’m thrilled the Government are investing wisely in our kid’s future,” he said.
Mr Gulaptis said the service will provide educational and cultural activities, along with information, referrals and contemporary mentoring in youth-related issues, as well as access to games, IPads with Wifi connections, nutritious food, and other youth-driven activities.
“A lack of positive activities and broader community engagement can potentially create a culture of disconnection and isolation among young people.
The Community Safety Fund program provides grants of up to $250,000 to councils, chambers of commerce and community groups for initiatives that reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.