HUNDREDS of people spoke with youth service organisations in Nowra during Thursday’s Youth Week event.
This was the first year the event had been held at Stockland Nowra and organisers called it one of the most successful.
Most of the region’s youth service providers held stalls either in the car park or inside the shopping centre.
Shoalhaven City Council youth development officer Donna Corbyn was impressed with the community involvement.
“It was a complete success,” she said.
“We had lots of people talking with the service providers who were represented.
“Organisations like Headspace, Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention and Awareness, Koori Habitat, Youth Cross Roads, Access and the Family Referral Service were among them.
“I think the people who attended thought it was great to see the services out and about.
“Normally these services operate behind closed doors,” she said.
A number of schools from the region were represented by students who performed throughout the day. The PCYC Time4Kids fund-raiser, which involved local identities being temporarily jailed and having to raise money to be freed, was popular.
The Nowra Youth Protocol was also launched and distributed at the event.
The protocol is the result of a nine-month collaboration between community youth groups, businesses, council, police and young people.
The protocol is a set of guidelines for people to follow around the Nowra CBD.
It outlines what behaviour is unacceptable, what the consequences are for antisocial behaviour and what happens if the behaviour continues.
Its aim is to ensure people feel safe and welcome in Stockland and in the CBD.
Access Community Group project co-ordinator Samantha Kettlewell was the MC for the day.
“I got the kids involved as much as possible and they were fantastic,” she said.
“The location was great, we had a captive audience with people already here shopping.
“We had a lot of interest from parents about the youth protocol and what it all means for Nowra.
“This whole day was about getting the community engaged and if their parents are aware of the services in the region that is a big help,” she said.
A free Youth Week community event will be held at the Ulladulla Highway Christian Church grounds on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.