GOOD OLD DAYS: Youth Connections Officers Haylee Cosh and Travis Maguire worked towards supporting youth, but Council's youth engagement strategy has changed focus since Ms Cosh's resignation.
GOOD OLD DAYS: Youth Connections Officers Haylee Cosh and Travis Maguire worked towards supporting youth, but Council's youth engagement strategy has changed focus since Ms Cosh's resignation. Candyce Braithwaite

Community's bid to show Warwick youth someone does care

IN A bid to show the youth of Warwick that someone really does care, community organisations have put their heads together to instil some liveliness back in to Youth Week.

When the Warwick Daily News broke the announcement that Southern Downs Regional Council would not be playing an active role in the event, people from the community piped up with ideas to step in and give young people something to look forward to.

Disappointed by the news, Soheil Golshani from Warwick Youth Connect was inspired to organise a fun day in the park.

"We thought it would be a shame to let this Youth Week go to waste and thought maybe it would be a good idea to collaborate with other organisations that have the same vision for wanting the best for the youth of Warwick,” he said.

"We were thinking something as simple as a fun day in the park where youth are able to meet one another through the use of arts, crafts, sports and music.

"We'd love to hear more from other youth organisations or anyone in the community about what they'd like to see happen.”

Headspace manager Travis Maguire said outside of Youth Week and sporting activities, there wasn't much in Warwick for people in the 15-25 age bracket to engage with.

"It's something we hear from young people and one of the main problems they face,” he said.

"Even my 13-year-old son is going to the Gold Coast on weekends to go to the Time Zone with his cousin.

"He's travelling three hours just to play air hockey.”

Warwick teenagers Jack Kearns and Jakob Miklejohn say having things to do in Warwick is important for helping kids get off social media and feel valued in the community.
Warwick teenagers Jack Kearns and Jakob Miklejohn say having things to do in Warwick is important for helping kids get off social media and feel valued in the community. Marian Faa

Mr Maguire said funding cuts to headspace meant the organisation was already having to scale back the size and number of its Youth Week events.

But determined not to leave the calendar completely empty, Mr Maguire said headspace would be hosting an open day with art and music workshops on April 7.

Hearing the community's concern, Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said the council would offer "modest” funding to local organisations which intend to host their own Youth Week events.

"Council values the region's youth and works to ensure they have a voice and a platform to be able to exchange ideas, raise issues and collaborate on local government decision making processes,” a council spokeswoman said.

"Up to $1000 is readily available for organisations to conduct activities for Youth Week through the Fast Response Grant program.

"Subject to eligibility, grant applications are generally assessed and approved within a few business days.”

But Youth Week organisations said there was no mention of funding in the original letter sent by council.

"It would be cool but it is just too late in the piece to be writing grant applications and pull something together.”



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