The Town of Clarington and the John Howard Society have just opened the Newcastle Youth Centre (NYC) inside the Diane Hamre Recreation Complex. It is the second Clarington centre to open recently, following the September opening of the Loft Youth Centre in Courtice, and is part of a six-month pilot project. There are now a total of three centres, with the Firehouse Youth Centre in Bowmanville operating since 1998.
“Clearly, council recognizes the importance of creating interactive spaces where young people can gather, feel safe and participate in activities,” said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster.
The Newcastle Youth Centre is open five days a week, Tuesday to Thursday, from 3-7 p.m., Friday from 3-9 p.m. and Saturday noon to 6 p.m.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from young teens on the space and activities,” said Chris Newman, John Howard Society youth coordinator. “This centre is a great addition in this community and we hope to build on our previous success and continue to provide young people with a safe space to hang out.”
The idea for a Newcastle Youth Centre came from a delegation of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Elementary School Grade 8 students who asked council for a social and recreational space for young people. Clarington council endorsed the Youth Centre pilot project and allocated $79,899 for the operation of the centre and some minor renovations of the space.