By EMMA DAVIS.
A centre set up to provide support services for young people in the northeastern suburbs is now attracting hundreds of visitors every week.
In its first six months of operation, HIVE 12 – Twenty Five Youth Centre in Modbury has seen more than three thousand people walk through the door and become involved in the various programs and courses on offer.
Many visitors are attending school and need a space to work on their art pieces, while others are struggling to connect socially and academically.
“We have quite a lot that engage in school… but we have a lot that do come in that are very disengaged,” said HIVE Support Officer Emma Weller.
“Some kids do come in and they aren’t doing too well in school or are a bit socially disconnected,” she said.
“But we get them to just do small things in our workshops and they usually end up coming back.”
And the feedback is mostly positive, coming from those involved and their families.
“You have parents that come in and they’re really happy that their kids are coming to the Tracks program or to the Mission Australia program,” Ms Weller said.
The idea of HIVE began when young volunteer council members decided there was a need in the community for a space young people could go and unwind.
As plans blossomed, a wide range of youth service centres became involved in the discussion process.
“We wanted it to be a youth space, but have the services here as well,” said Ms Weller.
“Some of these groups wanted to set up a place in the north eastern area, but couldn’t find a proper location until now.”
Service providers such as Boystown, the Services to Youth Council and Mission Australia have set up permanent residency in HIVE and provide support services to youths in the area.
Carly Didcote is a Program Officer with HIVE and was an original member of the youth council that helped create the centre.
With a strong focus on the arts, Ms Didcote runs a lot of the current art courses that range from beginner to expert.
“We have programs for everyone,” said Ms Didcote.
“We do ‘crafternoons’ where anyone can come in and join our workshops.
“But we also do more advanced workshops or special sessions with those who are a little more experienced.”
For the most advanced artists, HIVE serves as an exhibition venue where they can display their work for sale without paying commission.
19 year-old artist Deanna Janssan’s exhibit “Introspection” was featured as part of the Adelaide Fringe, a first for both her and the centre.
More than 60 people attended her opening night and many others have come through the doors since then.
“We’ve had a lot of people come through in the last two weeks that have just found it in the Fringe guide… and that’s just how she’s sold some pieces,” said Ms Weller.
Despite the current focus on the arts, Ms Weller hopes more programs and services will be introduced as the centre continues to grow.
“We have a fully furnished kitchen so we’re hoping to run more cooking classes in the future, but we also want to get some homework study groups going and make use of our computer and desk area.”
Most programs run throughout the school holidays and in conjunction with HIVE’s partnering services.
For more information on programs and services see http://www.teatreegully.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1004 or call 8426 9800.