The Bellingen Shire Youth Hub was made possible by funding from the Federal Government's Arts, Business and Community Centres for Young Australians Initiative.
The Bellingen Shire Council applied on behalf of the community for a $2M grant specified for the development of a Community Youth Development Centre to assist communities in priority employment areas to development skills to support in educations, training and employment: to participate in and engage with their community and to make connections to peers, adults and services.
The resultant successful application, (one of only five in Australia) is the Bello Youth Hub.
An innovative place to foster positive outcomes for young people by providing access to programs, services, activities and resources that support their wellbeing.
The Bello Hub is one of the Bellingen Shire's community assets and therefore the responsibility of the Bellingen Shire Council. As part of this responsibility, the council also commits ongoing funding to the centre for some operational costs.
A volunteer management committee guide the overall strategic and operational direction of the centre and the Bellingen Shire Council employ a part time coordinator to oversee the day to day operation.
The programs and events however, and largely delivered by the community. Various organisations and individuals involved with youth, use the Hub as a venue for creating and delivering programs that are inline with centres' mission. There are also a number of youth services that operate from the centre to support young people in various health, education and social areas.
Above all, the Hub is for the Bellingen youth and the centre has established a philosophy of youth engagement where "if you and ten or so of your mates have an ideas for an activity at the hub, we'll try and find a way of putting it on". There are so many amazing people and organisations in our shire we the Hub can usually find someone with the skills and talent to mentor or support the idea.