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Street Ambassadors to defuse youth aggression

November 19th, 2009

Young Motuekans will have the support of Street Ambassadors this summer, in a Tasman District Council initiative that aims to defuse and lessen aggressive and anti-social activities including graffiti.

HYPE-GS, or Help for Young People at Events and in their Gathering Spaces, is a youth organisation with a focus on support and advocacy of youth in the community.

They have been contracted by the Council to provide a late night Street Ambassador (SA) service by qualified youth workers for the Richmond and Motueka communities, working in partnership with local Police, Night Patrol, and Maori Wardens.

Their goal is to defuse aggressive behaviour and prevent anti-social activities whilst promoting positive self-care messages. They also want to promote opportunities for positive youth engagement in projects that address graffiti vandalism, and disseminate information about youth-focused recreation opportunities and up-coming events.

This service is based on the successful Nelson City Council SA program which has been running for the past few summers. The council believes it has minimised anti-social behaviour and enhanced community wellbeing.

The SA service in Motueka will run between 8.30pm and 2.30am on Friday and Saturday evenings during December, January and February. Qualified youth workers will operate over six-hour shifts, based in the Motueka Community House, Decks Reserve. SA will also provide mobile services to Mapua and Kaiteriteri.

To complement this service, HYPE-GS will also deliver casual outreach recreation sessions in local parks and reserves for young people. These sessions will run early Friday and Saturday evening over the summer holiday period and offer young people an opportunity to engage with others whilst participating in wholesome clean sporting fun.

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