New YMCA manager shares community hub dream

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
Tia Sandhu.
Camera IconTia Sandhu. Credit: Michael Traill

YMCA Narrogin has welcomed its new Sports and Community Centre manager, who aims to turn the centre into a community hub in town.

Tia Sandhu wants to develop long-term strategies to engage with youth in the region, while working towards activating under-loved areas of the centre itself.

“I want to build some clear partnerships with community stakeholders within Narrogin to start to create a community hub out of the recreation centre, which sees a hub of different activities that YMCA can provide and facilitate through other community groups,” she said.

“(In the) long term I’d would really like to activate some of the spaces and breath life into the look and feel of the centre.”

The Shire of Narrogin will partner with the YMCA to develop a youth strategy plan.

“We’re really keen to survey young people in conjunction with the Shire of Narrogin to understand the needs and wants of Narrogin first and foremost, then use that information to deliberately and with intent engage with young people long term,” she said.

“Provide them with recreation activities and on-going support in their development and transition into adulthood.

“The survey will begin in March, first engaging with (NSHS) high school students and then engaging in smaller group facilitations, we hope to capture a minimum of 500 young people in Narrogin and surrounding areas.”

Ms Sandhu wants to create a “safe space” for at-risk youth at the centre.

“First of all using this youth survey as a way of understanding what they need in their life and what directions they’re headed, but I also think it’s about creating safe spaces for them to meet with their friends or hang out with families and not necessarily be looked upon in a negative light,” she said.

“Provide them with a safe space where they can engage in more positive behaviours versus being in negative situations and creating an opportunity for those young people to engage positively with community members they may have not previously.”

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