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New Collaborative Venture For Youth and Disability

New Collaborative Venture Brings the Youth And Disability Sectors Together

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 18 December 2013

A new collaborative venture between NZ Federation of Vocational and Support Services (VASS), Ara Taiohi, and Youthline Wellington will see the three organisations come together in one shared space over the next two months.

The new shared space will enable the three organisations to share some back-room functions, reduce over-heads and explore other possibilities for working together.

Although all three NGOs look very diverse on paper, they all have similar values and goals in common. Both VASS (an umbrella group for disability employment and community services) and Ara Taiohi (an umbrella group for youth services) share similar organisational structures and a focus on supporting their respective members. All three organisations share a commitment to inclusion, young people and valuing diversity.

“We’ve learned that it’s not what we do but how we do it that is important and this opens up some great possibilities for us to share resources, skills and knowledge,” says VASS CEO, Tess Casey.

“One of the most exciting aspects of the collaboration is that we can see that these possibilities will provide benefits to our members.”

Ara Taiohi Executive Officer, Sonya Hogan, says the partnership will create an enriching working environment.

“We are really thrilled to be working with and drawing on the knowledge of both Youthline Wellington and VASS, as well as having the collective ability to afford a space that is big enough for hot desks and meeting areas that can be hired out to the wider NGO community. It is also a great way for Ara Taiohi to continue to work towards its goal Te Waikawa o Ara Taiohi (promoting sustainability).”

Youthline Wellington co-ordinator Vicki Beachen is also looking forward to the pending move.“Youthline Wellington has had a fantastic year by continuing to broaden our volunteer base which has seen some tremendously talented people helping out in many different ways. We are looking forward to continuing to deliver support and youth development services across the region in the new premises, while at the same time learning from and sharing our experiences and knowledge with Ara Taiohi and VASS.”

The collaboration has already had positive spin-offs in terms of opportunities for staff. VASS and Ara Taiohi are now sharing an Office Administrator, enabling an existing staff member to move from part-time to full-time employment.

VASS and Ara Taiohi will be based in the new space at Level 3, 148 Cuba Street, Wellington from 16 December, with Youthline Wellington set to join them next month. The new space should be fully functional by the end of February.

All three organisations can still be contacted on their existing phone numbers, postal and email addresses.

About Ara Taiohi – www.arataiohi.org.nz
Ara Taiohi is an umbrella organisation for people and organisations working with young people. Their mission is to support people who work with young people to ensure they thrive.

About VASS – www.nzvass.org.nz
VASS is a federation of 70 community organisations that support people with disabilities by helping them identify and fulfil their personal goals and aspirations, find work and participate in their communities.

About Youthline Wellington – www.youthline.org.nz
Youthline is a 24/7 national telephone counselling helpline run by youth, for youth.

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