A new youth centre will open in Esperance, providing a safe space for young people in the community to have fun and build relationships.
The Tor Youth Shed has begun taking registrations and will have its opening night on Saturday May 5.
Condingup farmer, youth worker and volunteer ambulance officer Conrad Lowe has founded the Shed, opposite Pink Lake IGA, on the corner of Pink Lake Road and Milner Street as a free service for the community.
“It’s going to be a safe place where young people can come and hang out and have some fun in a drug and alcohol free area,” he said.
“They can build relationships and learn new skills.”
Mr Lowe said there were currently three rooms inside and a basketball court outside.
One room has a pool table and a foosball table, another has air hockey and table tennis and a third room is a lounge room for board games, computer games and movies.
Mr Lowe said the Shed was still being developed and he was taking “baby steps” towards expanding it and adding more activities based on turnout.
“Further down the track there is a lot of scope for expanding the building,” he said.
“If we waited to get everything ready and going we would never get there, so we just had to make a start and keep working as we go.”
Mr Lowe said there was a need in the Esperance region for more activities for young people.
“I have a passion for working with young people and I’ve been working in youth groups in town for years,” he said.
“I’m a volunteer ambulance officer so I see the other side of what happens when [young people] have nothing to do.
“It’s a safe space away from alcohol and drugs.
“Even if we make a difference in a few kid’s lives it will be worth it.”
He said the Tor Youth Shed was named after a much loved local boy who lost his life at too young an age.
Mr Lowe hoped the Shed would expand by word of mouth and was looking for volunteers who have a Working with Children card.
The Shed will start out for people aged from 13 to early to mid 20s and will be open Saturday nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Mr Lowe said the Shed would look at expanding opening hours and adjusting age ranges in the future.
For more information or to contact the Tor Youth Shed view their Facebook page.