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Published: 25 March 2022

By Andy Ross

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A new job

Last week I was interviewed for a new post in Greymouth: working with and for teenagers.

The job is with an organisation called YouthTown. YouthTown started in the 1930s during the Great Depression as a small boxing class that sought to get boys off the streets of Auckland, and, at the same time, offer them a set of useful skills. (You can read more about that history here.) Nowadays the organisation is much bigger and is spread across the whole of New Zealand. My post is new and is a part-time job to create a programme of events and activities for teenagers. Not an easy task but one that I am really looking forward to! I have spent the last week working with the Co-ordinator for chidren and young people; the same as my post but for the younger age group. It has been exhausting at first but fun, and I have managed to learn lots about this new place we call home. 

Over the next few weeks I plan to speak with as many people as possible about the opportunities and issues that exist on "the Coast" (the colloquial name for the West Coast region). Once I have done that I will be able to put together a plan for progression and yes, I hope to include music and textiles in that. There are huge opportunities to use the arts to make a real change in this community, something that others have recognised too. There are a few artists around who are also doing work in the same area and I hope we can work together to support and help the Coast.

Although I shall be working part-time in this post, my other work through GlobalYell will continue. As Spring approaches in the North and the light returns to Shetland I hope to be able to share with you some pictures of the land, sea and sky in the isles. We are planning a project that will bring Shetland and New Zealand together.