Youth centre closes its doors

AFTER 21 years the Gloucester Youth Centre is closing.

Sheryl Tester, council’s youth development officer (second from right), with volunteers Jade Spencer, Lauren McRae and Grahame Holstein (missing from the photo are long standing volunteers Newman Patmore and Ruth Boorer). Combined the volunteers have clocked up more than 67 years of volunteering and supporting young people through the youth centre.

Sheryl Tester, council’s youth development officer (second from right), with volunteers Jade Spencer, Lauren McRae and Grahame Holstein (missing from the photo are long standing volunteers Newman Patmore and Ruth Boorer). Combined the volunteers have clocked up more than 67 years of volunteering and supporting young people through the youth centre.

For the past two decades the centre has been operating out of the old Anglican Church hall on King St.

The centre was born out of the Gloucester Safety Committee after a fatal car accident claimed the lives of two young locals in 1990. 

The committee, assisted by council, gained funding for a youth worker to co-ordinate a safe supervised venue for young people to socialise.  

Currently, Family and Community Services provide recurrent funding for the youth service under the early intervention prevention program auspiced through Gloucester Shire Council.  

The youth centre took up residence at the Anglican Church hall in 1993 and has operated continually there ever since.

The service also hosted a range of workshops offsite but the old building holds many special memories for staff, volunteers, parents and young people who have participated in youth centre recreational and skills based programs, training and activities at the building. 

It was befitting that the last game played on the pool table was by the four young council employees helping to put it into storage; all had participated in youth centre programs.

The youth service is currently looking for a new youth friendly space for young people to connect. 

“Relocation is an opportunity to effectively realign the service, re-energise and re-brand the new space for connection, information and support of our young people,” council’s general manager Danny Green said.

“The Youth Development Officer (YDO) will continue to provide someone to talk to about concerns or life issues, gain information, support and referral, conduct or co-ordinate skills based activities and workshops for young people in conjunction with other organisations and also conduct parenting teens programs for parent and guardians.”

Until appropriate premises are available, YDO Sheryl Tester will operate from council offices after school each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 3pm to 5pm or other times by appointment. 

Sheryl can be contacted via the Gloucester Youth Centre Facebook page or email ydo@gloucester.nsw.gov.au

Parents or guardians who wish to register for parenting teens programs can phone 6538 5250 and ask for Sheryl Tester.

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