Youth centre seeks input from teens

The Sechelt Youth Centre (SYC) is looking for input by teens and tweens who want to use the newly renovated space this year.

Located in a separate building at the Sechelt Learning Centre on Cowrie Street, the SYC received some major renovations the past few months.

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With the installation of a full kitchen, some furniture, a pool table and a new big screen TV, the former childcare space has been totally transformed into a fun teen hangout.

The SYC used to be located at the Community Resource Centre on Trail Avenue, but the move to Cowrie Street and interim usage of classroom space at the Sechelt Learning Centre impacted teen attendance.

Once a separate space at the learning centre was secured it required renovations, which also negatively impacted teen turnout.

Now SYC wants to get the word out that they're open and ready to become a hub for teenagers in Sechelt.

"Although we have been open for over a year, many people are still not aware that the youth centre exists," said Ted Chisholm, Sechelt Community Schools Coordinator who oversees the youth centre. "Since our extended closure for renovations, we are rebuilding our relationships with youth and the community to raise awareness and interest in the centre."SYC is open Friday evenings from 3 to 8:30 p.m. for youth ages 13 to 18 and on Monday and Thursday evenings from 3 to 5 p.m. for tweens in grades 5 to 7.

Teenagers seem to be interested in cooking, so youth workers have been helping teens prepare a meal on Friday nights, while the tweens have been spending time playing games and doing arts and crafts.

The current programming is the result of youth direction and workers want to hear from more potential users of the centre.

"We're really looking to get young people's feedback in terms of their ideas for programming. For example, are they interested in coming by? Which days would they like to utilize the centre? How would they like to utilize the centre? What activities would they like to engage in? Do we need any special equipment to do so? Those are the types of questions we have," said youth worker Charlene Blais.

Youth workers are attempting to meet with students at Chatelech Secondary School and in the alternative school programs to get their input.

"The days we add to the schedule will be those identified by youth as most useful, and even decisions like what game system to buy for the centre will be voted on and decided by youth," Chisholm noted.

Youth will also be invited to take part in a contest to rebrand SYC later this year.

Teens and tweens who want to get involved in SYC and have their voices heard are asked to drop into the centre on a night it's open, email their suggestions to secheltyouth@eastlink.ca or find SYC on Facebook.

In addition to asking for input from youth, SYC is asking for donations of specific materials to the centre this year. If you have any of the following items for donation please contact the centre at 604-885-2720: comfy chairs, large area rugs, a blender, large stainless steel mixing bowls, wooden cutting boards, a large pasta pot, a metal pasta serving tool, apair of oven mitts, dish towels and tea towels, mugs and a garlic press.

The SYC is free for youth and funded through the Sunshine Coast Regional District and the Sechelt Community School.

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