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Zeal Street Youth Work receives three-year backing by Momentum Waikato

In partnership with the amazing folk at Momentum Waikato, Zeal Hamilton is on a three-year mission to transform young people in Hamilton’s CBD through Street Youth Work.

Street Youth Work co-ordinator Josh Vossen giving his speech at the announcement event – via Mark Hamilton

The Vital Waikato grant, launched by Momentum Waikato in 2016, aims to respond to the Waikato’s highest priorities by funding projects they believe will have the highest impact on the region.

Along with two other amazing local groups (Ka Pai Kai and Ngā Kaitiaki O Te Awa O Pūnui), they have granted us a share of the one million dollar fund to continue and extend our Street Youth Work programme, which has been running since December 2016.

Momentum Waikato’s Chief Executive, Cheryl Reynolds, says “we are very proud to announce these three grant recipients who have responded to a clear need in the Waikato. Zeal’s Street Youth Work initiative is inspirational, transformational, demonstrates excellent leadership, and we believe with Momentum Waikato’s help they will all be scalable and sustainable.”

“Having spent six months in pilot mode, the Street Youth Work team is full of vision for the young people of the Hamilton CBD,” says Josh Vossen, the Street Youth Work Coordinator.

“Momentum Waikato embraced our vision and have invested themselves into a transformational project. We are so thankful for their support and believe that they are the perfect supporters to make this project a revolutionary success for our rangatahi.”

Short video following the team through the city – via YouTube

Our Street Youth Work programme aims to collaborate with other youth sector providers in the community to place trained staff, or ‘Youth Hosts,’ on the streets. Our team will be equipped to actively engage with young people, including the most vulnerable, in Hamilton city streets on Friday or Saturday nights.

The staff and volunteers involved with the project hope to see an increase in pro-social behaviour of youth on the streets and provide a sense of belonging for Hamilton teenagers.

Through the relationships based approach of the programme, they aim to increase awareness of youth work providers through referrals and interactions on the streets.

The Street Youth Work team currently heads out every Saturday evening. If you want to get involved, get in contact with Josh at joshvossen@zeal.nz, and to follow their journey, join them on Facebook and Instagram.