Seven Up’s funding support

Labor Candidate for Braddon Justine Keay, pictured with students Samantha Kay, Zoe Kelly and volunteer Tyler Dejong, has announced a $130,000 funding promise for the Seven Up Youth Centre. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

Commitment. Federal Labor has announced a $130,000 investment in Seven Up Youth Centre, should the party be elected following next month’s election.

Labor Candidate for Braddon, Justine Keay made the announcement at the Nelson Street centre on Friday.

“Fingers crossed we’ll be able to be in a position to deliver it,” she said.

“The longer this centre’s open, the more contact the workers here have with the young people and that’s extremely important.”

A partnership between Rural Health, Circular Head Council, Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation and Smithton Christian Fellowship, Seven Up is open after school three days per week allowing youth a safe environment to meet, do their homework or just hang out.

There are also staff on hand to chat to about any issues they may be experiencing.

Rural Health youth and community team leader Kate Cross was optimistic about the announcement.

“I really welcome your commitment to this space and the youth of our community,” Ms Cross said.

“It’s a very hard-fought battle to keep this centre open.

“Sometimes we’ve only been able to open it one day a week, it really impacts our ability to reach out to young people and provide them with what we know they need.

“We can only see that [staying open] will build their resilience and their ability to move forward in life in a much more supported way.”

Ms Cross said a “strong collaboration between community organisations” is the key to the centre’s success since opening.

“We’re also very lucky that we have very strong partnerships with the Smithton High School and Circular Head Christian School,” she said.

The funding will go towards the ongoing employment of a centre coordinator with potential for extending to five afternoons a week.

“What we see in the trends of the centre in the last six years is that when we have a coordinator, there has been a much higher usage of this space,” Ms Cross said.

“[Young] people get used to the staff that are here, they form connections.”

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