On August 17, the BCS Youth Services Team re-launched the freshly refurbished Belconnen Youth Centre. The relaunch celebrated the updates and changes made to the Youth Centre, which has been a gradual process over several months.
Local artist Luke Hadland refreshed the entrance mural with a surrealist take on the Belconnen landscape. His brightly coloured design was selected by popular vote on the Belconnen Youth Centre Facebook Page, and replaced the previous mural which had been in situ since 2009. BCS Youth Services Coordinator, Dan, says “the new mural is light and fun, a bit quirky, and welcoming.” The warm sunset tones and colourful lake add an eye-catching new look to the distinctive face of “The Corner”. There is also a new sign, to make the Youth Centre more visible to passers-by.
Dan says “We decided to refresh the youth centre, and rearrange the space to make it more accessible and inviting. It’s had a paint job, new carpet, and we’ve bought some modular furniture that lets us use the space more flexibly. The centre is really multipurpose, and it’s great to be able to easily rearrange everything when we’re setting up for one of our band nights.
We got rid of some of our old, outdated equipment – things we’d been holding onto ‘just in case’. It’s really important to me that we have quality equipment in our centre, I think we need to make sure that we value our space so that the people who come here also feel valued. We still have all of the favourites though – our pool table, foosball, table tennis, and video games. We’ve also got a kitchen and washing and drying facilities for young people to use.
The Youth Centre can be a bit challenging acoustically, especially when it’s busy. We’d heard from some young people that they’ve felt overwhelmed by the noise when they walked in, so we’ve repurposed one area to make a quiet space for people to read, play games, or just chill quietly. We’ve also relocated our computers to a more discreet spot, so people using them can concentrate more easily.”
The re-launch of the Youth Cente was attended by young people, staff from BCS and other local organisations, and members of the public. One attendee said “I used to come here when I was young, and now all four of my children have spent time here as they’ve grown up. It’s been a really important space for my family, and it’s great to see it getting a bit of a touch up.”
The Belconnen Youth Centre is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons for Open Access, and hosts “Free Feed Fridays” each week. During ACT public school breaks, the Youth Services team operates the Youth School Holiday Program, which provides free activities and excursions. The Youth Centre is also the base for the Youth Employment Pathways Hub, the Bit Bent peer support group, and BCS youth case work services.
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