Plans to bring extra life and vibrancy to the centre of Alexandra are among the catalysts behind one group’s recent move.

Reporter Alexia Johnston finds out why the Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust Puna Rangatahi (Youth Base) has moved and how it plans to benefit the community.

Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust Puna Rangatahi (Youth Base) is proving location is key after moving from its Gregg St site, to an office space behind Centrepoint Mall.

There has been a regular flow of visitors keen to see who and what is behind the doors of the former Spark office since the group moved in at the end of last term.

Youth Development Practitioner Sharleen Stirling-Lindsay said boxes were still being unpacked when the first visitors arrived, suggesting the move to become more visual to the general public was doing the trick.

“We haven’t even unpacked and more people have discovered we are here and really keen to connect,” she said.

“It’s pretty exciting.”

The premise will be available to youth-related services during the day and youth will use the space for their programmes after school.

Services which have already benefited from the facility includes the NZ Army for recruitment purposes.

The trust, which supports the Central Otago Youth Council and Junior Youth Council, encourages anyone, particularly youngsters, to visit its new premise to find out more about what it can offer them.

She said the aim was to reach out to as many youth-related groups as possible.

Among those she has yet to find a contact for were children who are home-schooled.

“This is a hub now so we want more people to feel connected in this space.”

Youth Base has a range of projects planned over the coming months as it prepares to further promote its services and new location leading into summer and the festive period.

It will host a Neat Feet event on October 22.

For a gold coin donation, people can get a mini-pedicure between 3pm to 5pm in preparation for summer.

People who want to participate are encouraged to wear jandals.

“During that time we are after people to share their ideas.

“[We want people to] let us know what kind of activities and programmes you want to see happening at the new space.”

The trust’s Coffee Tin, a youth-run initiative, will be set up regularly in the lead-up to Christmas to benefit people out shopping.

Throughout November, each Friday from 6pm to 8pm, Youth Base will also be available as a drop-in centre, where children from year 8-upwards can have something to eat, mingle and play a game of pool.

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