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One-Stop-Shop for Vulnerable Canterbury Youth

Press Release embargoed until 6am Thursday November 15th

Major Fund-Raising Concert Kick Starts One-Stop-Shop for Vulnerable Canterbury Youth

The time has come to start turning a long-held dream into reality to support Canterbury Youth in need.

“We need to stop talking about suicide and poor health outcomes for our region’s young people - now is the time to act” says Dr Sue Bagshaw. “We need to eliminate the causes such as poverty, homelessness and a lack of emotional support and start building youth a brighter future” she says.

For highly-respected GP and youth advocate Dr Bagshaw, that means seeing her ambitious plans for a one-stop-shop Youth Hub in Christchurch’s city centre take flight. The land for the $10 million dollar project was purchased earlier this year by Anglican Care specifically for the cause – now it’s time to kick start fundraising to get it built, to deliver desperately-needed mental health, medical, social and housing support for the region’s youth.

That fundraising campaign for the Youth Hub, Te Hurihanga O Rangatahi, officially kicks off with an exciting Variety Concert on Wednesday December 5th at the St Margaret’s College Charles Luney Auditorium , showcasing a celebrated line-up of local and New Zealand talent who’ve come together to support the cause.

Satirist and television personality Te Radar will act as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, leading guests through a night of non-stop entertainment, including local rock legends The Eastern, Lyttleton-based rockabilly musician and raconteur Lindon Puffin, pop-rock chanteuse Julia Deans and Queen of Christchurch’s Court Theatre Ali Harper. They’ll be joined by the celebrated Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, who will perform with special guest performer Lixin Zhang, winner of last year’s Wallace National Piano competition. Rounding out the talented line-up will be Samoan bass-baritone and 2018 Lexus Song Quest winner Joel Amosa, talented comedy magician Brendan Dooley and award-winning Christchurch comedy entertainer Shay Horay.

Te Radar says its truly humbling to MC such a stellar line-up for such an admirable cause.

“I’d happily pay just to sit and watch them all” he says. “What a truly great cause it is too. Quite simply, the Youth Hub will transform the lives of all who come into contact with it”.

For some of the performers and musicians taking part, their support for a Youth Hub is personal.

“When I was younger I attended Sue’s Youth Health Centre” says Lindon Puffin. “As a young androgynous glam rocker I was alienated and belittled by everyone from high school staff, to family, GP’s and WINZ. It was a huge relief to discover the Youth Health centre where I felt valued and not judged. It was a caring environment where I could just be myself and don’t we all deserve that?” he says.

The development of New Zealand’s first ever one-stop shop for youth health with housing has been a long-held dream for Dr Bagshaw. The Youth Hub will be built on a 4500 square metre parcel of land on Salisbury Street generously purchased by Anglican Care in order to be specifically leased back to the Youth Hub Trust to build and run the facility.

It will include not only on-site services for youth health, counselling, social services, recreation and employment support, but desperately-needed transitional housing as well. There are plans to construct purpose-built accommodation supporting twenty-five young people waiting for more permanent housing.

“We will be able to provide a unique service of wrap-around care, to not only give support and emergency relief for youth in immediate need, but also help prevent mental health issues from establishing and escalating with a ‘nip it in the bud early’ approach” says Dr Bagshaw.

David Cairns, Pegasus Health’s Suicide Prevention Co-ordinator, says the concept of a Hub for youth is extremely important.

“The lives of young adults and their health are influenced by a complicated array of social, economic and medical factors and the link between these seldom gets the attention it deserves” he says. “Of equal importance is building trust, as without trust people won’t accept help. Seeing organisations working together builds trust and this will facilitate the engagement of young people”.

The new Youth Hub will bring together specialist youth services which used to operate from adjoining sites in Barbados Street, including Dr Bagshaw’s 298 Youth Health medical centre, an employment agency, and youth activities organisation The White Elephant Trust. The sale of the Barbados Street land two years ago has since left those services scattered around the city.

It's hoped the success of the Variety Concert will kick start plans to acquire the necessary resource consents, cost the site designs and build a business case for the Hub. Canterbury’s youth have been invited and encouraged to submit their own ideas for the on-site design of the various buildings.

“This Youth Hub will truly be the answer – we need to get good people working together to help our young people and provide them with a brighter future” says Dr Bagshaw.

Tickets for the Youth Hub Variety Concert – December 5th 7.30pm, Charles Luney Auditorium can be purchased at www.eventfinda.co.nz.

For more information visit the Youth Hub Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/YouthHubCHCH/

Event page - https://www.facebook.com/events/2222615418009278/

See what Christchurch youth have to say about the Hub project

https://vimeo.com/296975070


ends

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