Byron Girls Group are excited to announce they have been successful in receiving a grant from NSW peak youth body YAPA (Youth Action and Policy Association), for a drug and alcohol educational project for young people which will be held in the next few months.

The project was born out of discussion between some of the girls and youth workers, in response to the ‘What’s happening to our kids’ drug and alcohol forum that took place earlier this year.

Byron High School students Jessica Mulroy and Ceridwyn Williams wanted young people to have the opportunity to represent the issues with their own voices and to develop positive youth focused strategies for change.

“We want the community to realise its not just young people who have drug and alcohol problems. Parents and the wider community also need to take responsibility for these issues. We want a chance for kid’s voices to be heard,” said Ceridwyn.

Jessica said: “We hope that young people will be empowered from the personal experience and information to help them make healthier choices.

“The project includes a drug and alcohol forum entitled ‘You don’t need drugs to be a dope’.

“The title is a play with words meaning you don’t need to use drugs and alcohol to have a fun time or be cool.”

The project will also include a series of creative workshops and a health focused publication for young people. 

The project has been facilitated by Belle Arnold, Byron Shire Council’s YAC Co-ordinator, and the Byron Girls Group in conjunction with Council’s Community Safety Officer, Juliet Allen.

The project is open to all young people to participate in organising or to attend. 

“As a Street Cruise worker for some years and youth worker for seven years in the Byron Shire, I’ve seen enough evidence to confidently say that alcohol and drug issues are not just a problem for young people,” Juliet said.

“I look forward to some creative thinking from our inspirational young people about this much bigger social issue.”

Belle Arnold said: “The Byron Girls Group has organised so many successful projects for young women and it’s great to be part of something they are doing for all young people to be involved in.

“The girls’ dedication to the group and improving social dynamics for and between young people and the wider community tells me that it will be a great project.”

For more information call Juliet on 6685 9349 or Belle on 6685 5775.