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Speaking to the Clutha District Council this week on behalf of the Malcam Trust and the Department of Internal Affairs, Steve Bennett said there was an opportunity to seek funding for a youth development programme in Clutha.
Mr Bennett, Internal Affairs community development and funding adviser for the Otago-Southland region, said while there was a high demand for funding, the Clutha district had only one position - Catlins Coast Inc projects co-ordinator - funded by a Lottery Grants Board distribution committee.
Across North Otago and Central Otago about 10 youth workers were supported by Lottery Grants Board.
The Malcam Trust was keen to help re-establish a youth development operation in Clutha, and supported locally managed programmes designed to meet local needs.
On behalf of the trust, Mr Bennett proposed it enter, with the council, into a joint venture or a contracted agreement to provide a youth development programme.
The Clutha District Council started running youth development programmes in 2007, using government funding.
The programmes ran under the umbrella of Making a Difference, and worked with young people across three different schemes: the Clutha Challenge, one-on-one mentoring, and a leadership course.
The services were delivered by now-defunct Enterprise Clutha, which employed youth development co-ordinator Daniel Maze. Mr Maze resigned at the end of last year, and none of the courses were offered this year.
Enterprise Clutha received $42,000 a year in council funding to run the services. The remaining $40,000 was provided by charitable organisations and the Government.
At a meeting in February, the council decided not to employ a youth co-ordinator ''in-house''.
Council chief executive Charles Hakkaart said it felt it was not the best placed to provide the support and mentoring the role would require but was better placed to provide funding assistance to other organisations already working with youth to deliver youth programmes.
It also decided to budget $25,000 a year towards delivering a youth programme.
Mr Bennett said salaries for youth workers in Balclutha and Milton had been funded by Lottery Grants Board in the past.
If the council was interested in funding, an application had to be submitted by November.