A new home for YouthGrow

A new home for YouthGrow

YouthGrow is a life-ready, work-ready, practical development programme for 16–24-year-olds, operating under the auspices of the Family Works division of Presbyterian Support Otago (“PSO”). The programme includes experience in some aspects of horticulture, a range of NCEA unit standards and some STEM subjects, budgeting and planning; also life skills such as stickability and self-management; overall intended to help young people develop the confidence to succeed in life.

Faced early in 2023 with the sale of its former property in Dunedin’s North-East Valley, YouthGrow needed a new base from which to carry on its vital work.

Flagstaff Community Church has had a strong working relationship with PSO going back many years, members of the congregation having served on its board and working for PSO in paid and volunteer roles; not to mention on-going donations to its foodbank.

After a period of exploring the possibilities and recognising the values we hold in common, Flagstaff and YouthGrow/Family Works signed a partnership agreement on 20 April 2023; the terms of which include shared use of Flagstaff spaces both indoors and outdoors.

PSO’s values—‘founded in our Christian faith we act with the values of integrity, respect, courage, manaaki and aroha’—align with the Flagstaff vision of a ‘little church on the go: in faith, hope and love’. Together we share a commitment to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a ‘taonga’, a living document; also acknowledging our place as Tangata Tiriti (people of the Treaty).

Coincidentally—if there is such a thing—Flagstaff and Family Works logos share common design elements including harakeke and the same karakia. “Hutia te rito o te harakeke, kei whea te Komako e ko? Ki ma ki ahau, he aha te mea nui o te Ao, maku e ki atu – he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.”

Sharing also a commitment to sustainability and care for creation, Flagstaff and YouthGrow look forward to working together including the School Creek restoration project and other potential partnerships.

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