Although they have been in lockdown over the last month, and face uncertain times ahead, the Hastings Youth Council is still busy planning for the upcoming year.
Council chairperson Sophie Jones and deputy chairperson Ondre Hapuku-Lambert both say it’s been interesting adapting to new routines and new ways of doing their school work.
“Over this period I have gone out for more walks/runs, shown off my skills in the kitchen, and bonded with family,” says Ondre.
“I have also been busy working at Countdown and attending many Zoom meetings due to my involvement in the Hastings Youth Council, school, Hawke’s Bay Red Cross, and the Race Unity Speech Awards.
“If anything this lockdown period has taught me the importance of being adaptable and made me realise the things I take for granted.”
Sophie has also been making the most of the different circumstance brought on by COVID-19.
“I’ve been taking this chance to unleash my creativity in the kitchen putting my air fryer to the test and muffin moulds through the wars.”
She says the council has an exciting year ahead planned.
“Despite the circumstances, each of our committees are working towards a lot of fun things that include; online youth week activities, social media competitions and an awesome environment week later on in the year, just to name a few.”
As well as fun events, she says the council is focused on mental health and providing a strong voice on behalf of the youth of Hastings to the wider council.
“One of our goals is also to have an amplified social media presence, so be sure to keep an eye out on our Facebook page to see what we are getting up to.
“We also aim to help our community recover from COVID-19 so will be working with Hastings District Council on their recovery plans, ensuring a youth voice is heard during the planning and implementation of COVID-19 strategies.”
Hastings district councillor and youth council representative Wendy Schollum says that as the district plans for life in a COVID-19 changed world, understanding the needs of our youth has never been so important.
“It will be critical to have the voice and ideas of our rangatahi involved in all aspects of our recovery plans, to ensure that we are addressing the needs of all parts of our community.
“We are lucky to have such a proactive and passionate Youth Council who reflect the diverse range of cultures, backgrounds and beliefs that make up Heretaunga.”
29 April 2020
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