Drop-in teen haven

ON TARGET: Ethan and Taylor Henry with community youth worker Joel Philpot. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News
ON TARGET: Ethan and Taylor Henry with community youth worker Joel Philpot. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News Vicki Wood

BRIBIE'S newest teen hot spot opened its doors recently, boasting an X-box, a pool table, snacks, and a foosball table to provide Bribie's youth with a free fun hang-out space.

Bribie Drop-In Centre youth worker Joel Philpot said there was little to do on the island for teens, and he's on a mission to change that.

"Basically we want to provide a safe environment where they can come and hang out with their friends," he said.

"There's very little for youth to do on Bribie at the moment, so it would be good to see as many high school students here that we can get."

Teens can come and go as they please to kick back on the couches and bean bags, or they can take advantage of the free professional tutoring for high school students.

Attendance so far has been sporadic, but Joel has big ideas for his little youth sanctuary.

"I'd love to get an air hockey table and set up a dodgeball room where people can go and blow off some steam," he said.

"For that to happen, youth need to come and see that it is a cool place to be and then bring their friends.

"Word has to spread. It has to be a cool place where kids want to hang out," he said.

Joel said the new youth centre was designed to fill in the gap of the lack of youth services on the island.

"Demographics are starting to shift to be more in favour of young people, and there are very little services that cater for youth.

"It is a well-known fact that when youth have nothing to do, you then you start getting problems. The only places they have to go to are the skate park, the beach or the shopping centre.

"Youth can go to the skate park and hang out and have a great time and not get up to any mischief - but they also can."

Bribie Island Police Senior Sergeant David Crawford-Raby said stopping youth problems before they started was always ideal.

"Any assistance that we can receive with respect to highlighting (drug and alcohol) issues, particularly amongst our young people, to divert them away before they start to engage in using dangerous drugs, is certainly welcome," Snr Sgt Crawford-Raby said.

"If it's going to provide them another avenue away from engaging in those activities, it is always welcome."

The Bribie Drop-In Centre is at the Transformation Centre at 197 First Ave, Bongaree, and is open on Tuesdays from 3-5.30pm, but will expand with increased interest.

Topics:  bribie island teenager youth

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