For years the young people of Ararat have had limited things to do, but that is all about to change. There will be no more reason to annoy your parents with the usual “I’m bored” or “I’ve got nothing to do” because Ararat will soon be home to a youth hub. It’s an exciting prospect for many young people in the Ararat area who are looking for a spot they can go to catch up with mates, work on projects and be creative. It will be a fully supervised space at the back of the Central Grampians Local Learning & Employment Network (CGLLEN) building where young people can be creative and safe at the same time.
CGLLEN is a community organisation focused on helping young people who are disengaged with school or employment. CGLLEN is one of 31 LLEN’s in Victoria which was established in 2001 to help re-engage young people with the community. The youth hub, to be named 12TwentyFive is one of the organisation’s latest projects and definitely a big one.
“We are trying to create a space for young people to come together, where they can have a safe space, where they can socialise,” Jasmine Van Den Hoek, Communications Officer at CGLLEN said when questioned about 12TwentyFive’s purpose. The space will also be used as a training area and a space for CGLLEN’s flexible learning pathways which they currently run.
The building in which 12TwentyFive will be located is at the back of the CGLLEN offices and the Ararat College oval. This portable will house the hub once renovations have completed either later this year or early next. The building is not usable at present because of damage caused by severe storms in Ararat last year.
Plans for 12TwentyFive have been drawn up showing the design and look of the future facility, with the inside not being the only subject of attention. The outside area, surrounding the portable, will be home to a small stage for music events, outdoor seating and a small barbeque area. The plan for the inside of the hub is divided into three zones. The first zone is a kitchen and classroom which could be used as a space for seminars and training workshops for young people. If an individual or group want to read, study or work together on a project the next zone is for them. The quiet zone is home to comfortable furniture to relax on and bookcases full of resources to help. No doubt the funniest of the three zones is the social zone, which is a place for young people to build friendships with one another. It is a great space to let your hair down and have a bit of fun with a pool table, beanbags and creative resources to use.
The 12TwentyFive youth hub is shaping up to be a great addition to Ararat, especially for young people. Will people use it? Yes, it seems like they will with many young people I spoke to loving the idea and looking forward to it opening. Jen Lofts, Year 12 at Ararat College, loved the idea of 12TwentyFive, “I think it is a great idea because in a town like Ararat we have limited places that we can go to socialise with friends or to just simply hang out.”
If you would like to help CGLLEN and the youth of Ararat, you can donate at 12TwentyFive’s GoFundMe page, all donations will no doubt be greatly appreciated.