Over 100 supporters, families and young people gathered for the official opening of Shore Junction in Takapuna, the newest Innovation Youth Hub in New Zealand. Shore Junction has been open to young people since September, but this night was to officially open the space in all its glory.
The room was buzzing with people who had in some way been a part of the monumental journey to bring this dream to fruition. The people present were entertained by one of the ‘Youth Arts New Zealand’ talented young people, Saofinao Utumapu, who was amazing.
“As the proceedings started I was overcome with the reality, and acutely aware that without the support of many of the people in the room we would never have reach this milestone,” said Sonia Thursby, CEO, and a key person driving the project.
Sue Stanaway Chair of the YES Board opened the speeches and announced the very first Patron of Shore Junction, Mrs Jackie Reeve.
“Jackie has been a supporter, encourager promoting Shore Junction wherever she can,” explained Sue Stanaway. “It is a huge honour that Jackie accepted our request to be our Patron and we owe her a huge debt of thanks.”
Attendees at the opening heard from young people, sharing how they have been a part of the journey and how they use the space, their enthusiasm and excitement made the opening extra special.
We were honoured to have Social Development, Employment and Disability Minister, The Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, in attendance. The minister spoke of how Shore Junction will support young people to follow their dreams, achieve their goals and be the best they can be.
Shore Junction’s very special Memorial Wall was also unveiled. This wall has 402 tags hanging on it. These tags have the names of every soldier who registered as living in Takapuna when they went to war, many of them the same age as the young people using Shore Junction. This wall was made possible by the Monk family, who have done so much to get us to this special day.
Rotary then presented CEO Sonia Thursby with the Paul Harris Fellow Award. Much deserved for the effort she has put in to YES, PHAB and Shore Junction.
“Wow, this was overwhelming and humbling to be acknowledge in such a way,” said Sonia proudly.
And there we have it. After many delays and postponements the celebration was had, the ribbon was cut and Shore Junction was officially open.
If there are any young people, supporters or people who want to take a look at Shore Junction, you can call in anytime Tuesday to Friday from 3pm – 6pm and catch up with Josh, Shore Junction’s Youth Development Manager.
Well done the team who have made Shore Junction a reality. You have left a legacy for generations of young people.