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Youth Centre Opens In Lyttelton

Two years of hard work and great community support has paid off with the opening of the Lyttelton Youth Centre tonight.

"For a long time there has been nothing for young people in Lyttelton to claim as their own. The Youth Centre in Oxford Street will give them a safe place to come and talk about any problems they may have or just to hang out," says Youth Worker and Youth Centre project co-ordinator Bob Kokaua.

"The launch of the youth suicide prevention programme Project MANA in Lyttelton last November, highlighted the youth problems in our area and raised the awareness of these problems among the community who decided to come on board and help provide a safe haven for them."

In the past decade, ten young people have committed suicide in the Banks Peninsula District.

The centre will be equipped with pool tables, televisions couches and plans to run programmes for young people in conjunction with Work Peninsula to provide work and employment opportunities.

A roster will be set up with community volunteers and Lyttelton Youth Council to run the centre.

A major supporter of the project, Mayor Noeline Allan, says the Centre will give local young people a meeting place.

"As Mayor my obligation is not just to those who pay the rates but also to their families and the future generation of the Peninsula. This project has my total support and I will continue to assist with fundraising initiatives."

Other local business and community groups that have lent their support to the youth centre have been the Lyttelton Port Company, Lyttelton Engineering, Stark Brothers and Safer Banks Peninsula.

Media are invited to the opening of the Lyttelton Youth Centre at 7 Oxford Street, Lyttelton at 6pm tonight.

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