Youth Focused Monday’s at The Deck in Raymond Terrace offers youths one stop shop access to services


Port Stephens Examiner

Ellie-Marie Watts

Port Stephens youths in need of support or access to services will now have a dedicated space and specific day to do so.

Recognising the need to bring youth services together in a ‘one stop shop’ format and to ‘fill a gap’ in what is currently on offer to residents, Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services (PSFANS) has established a new initiative, Youth Focused Monday’s, at The Deck in Raymond Terrace.

“We wanted to create a space where young people in Port Stephens can come and get the help they need, whether it’s help finding a place to stay, learning how to manage their finances, writing a resume or any other reason they might need support,” Courtney Knott, a youth homelessness case worker from PSFANS, said.

“Youth Focused Monday’s is a hub for services. Youths can drop in at The Deck on Monday’s between 10am and 5pm and find a one stop shop for everything they may need.”

Youth Focused Monday’s is for young people aged 15 to 24.

The areas of support that will be offered through the initiative, which will be held regularly at the Raymond Terrace youth venue each Monday starting February 24, will address a broad range of issues including homelessness, education and employment pathways and mental health. Additionally, Youth Focused Monday’s will run groups where attendees can learn about renting, maintaining tenancy and other living skills.

PSFANS manager Colleen Whittle said the initiative was about providing better access to the support that is currently on offer in the area, addressing gaps in services identified through attendance to the Monday drop-ins and helping other services, such as youth mental health foundation Headspace, reach clients by providing a dedicated space for them to meet.

“We’ve heard from many agencies and individuals in Port Stephens saying our youth need more help, that there’s not enough support services around,” Ms Whittle said.

“Our idea was to bring all the services together in the one spot on the one day, where youths and service providers can rely on us being here and helping.”

The Deck, located in Kangaroo Street, is open to youths on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3.30pm to 6.30pm. The venue is a safe space for young people to hang out.