Charitable Foundation supports youth in Raymond Terrace
Staff from the DECK, Raymond Terrace Neighbourhood Centre and Newcastle Permanent Building Society
For young people in Raymond Terrace a $50,000 donation from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation means they will continue to have a place to hang out that’s safe, supportive, and fun.
With the sale of the previous neighbourhood centre, “the Youthie”, things were looking grim until this donation made it possible for the centre to relocate and rename itself the DECK. Crystal Garlick has been coming to the centre for six years, initially seeking some advice on dealing with school bullies when she was 12. She and her twin brother Connor now both volunteer at the DECK to help other young people in the area. “The Centre is a great place to hang-out, have fun and meet new people. The staff and volunteers helped me greatly through my teenage years; I go twice a week to give back and help other young kids,” Crystal said. “I’m excited that it was able to remain open and move to a bigger place, without it,there really is nowhere else for the youth in Raymond Terrace and Port Stephens to go.” The DECK is open Thursdays and Fridays and offers life skills, counselling, mentoring and group activities including a weekly cook-up in the new pizza oven and drumming classes. A drop-in Centre also operates on Thursday and Friday afternoons which allows youth to get together at the Centre. DECK Coordinator Matt Breen said “Without the $50,000 funding we would have had to close down, there was no other option for us. We are extremely grateful that the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation granted this funding so we could continue to help the youth of Port Stephens.” Having more space means there’s the opportunity for the DECK to partner with other community organisations for youth related programs, and they are keen to hear from anyone who can assist with either tools or time. Local charity and not-for-profit organisations are invited to apply for the next Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation funding round, which closes on 11 April 2014.