The history of the Youth and Cultural Development Society Inc begins November 1992, with an informal meeting of a few community and youth workers. The topic of their discussion was the current trends and their impact on their work.
The group discussed the rise in crime and violent offences by predominantly young offenders in the inner city. The media was highlighting a growing racial tension amongst Polynesian and European young people. (Commonly known as the “Homies and Skinheads”). These factions were wrecking havoc on the inner city community and causing concern for business people mainly in the Gloucester Street area. The Police became involved, and meetings with various Pacific Island community groups were held in an attempt to address the issue.
An active response by ‘on the scene’ youth workers was to initiate street patrols in the inner city to provide monitoring and to diffuse high risk and dangerous situations involving young people. This was seen as a short-term measure largely to ensure that younger people were able to catch the last bus without any problems.
By September 1993 Youth and Cultural Development Society Incorporated had legal status and was registered with the Companies Office.
In May 1994 the YCD Youth Centre was opened by Councillor David Close and the Building was blessed by Reverend Maurice Gray and local members of the Runaka.
YCD offered a DropIn Centre for Young People in the Inner city. There were holiday programmes and a homework programme. In late 1994 YCD secured a 10 week Youth service Project from the Ministry of Youth Affairs delivering Life Skills. In 1995 this programme was extended to 20 weeks and run twice per year.
Y.C.D. operated from 273 Manchester Street until June 1997 after being informed in February 1997 the Youth Hostel Association giving YCD notice on the lease requiring the area for redevelopment. YCD management negotiated with the City Council who actively supported YCD to secure another venue. A sight was found and a three-year lease was signed between the landlord and the CCC. The move to 92 Lichfield Street happened with the help of CCC, YCD staff and clients collectively.
The new venue provided a safe environment for young people to come and share their experiences and find ways to live a productive and healthy life style. Young People decorated the centre and the atmosphere created a warm and safe environment for Young People to be.
Statistics for Y.C.D. have continued to increase each year, which justifies its continuation. For the 1998 year we have seen over 11,000 people, which is 3,000 more than the previous year, 13,200 for 1999 and this trend has continued. This highlights the increasing need for youth services in the central city area.
YCD has operated and changed with the times while remaining within the original Kaupapa due to the ever changing needs of young people. A strong focus on identity still remains but the focus has moved through stages of, sport, dance, music, turntablisim, DJing, graffiti art and will always cater for the need of young people as it arises.
YCD Board and Staff held a planning day and it was decided that we move into a more formal direction working with Young People. Due to the number of Young People who offend and those at risk of offending the focus was clearly identified. The first specific Youth Justice service contract negotiated was Community Service Coordination for young people who are required to complete hours under a Community Service or Community Works order.
This project has streamlined services for these Young People creating clearer accountability by them and a consistent system for them to understand. This project was a 2 year pilot partly funded by Child Youth and Family.
In addition to this we have identified the need to provide case management systems for these and other Young People to support change in their lives.
Christchurch City Council community relations division agreed to contract several independent evaluations to be done on groups that were allocated funding and appeared as a seperate ongoing item in the budget. YCD was one of three groups to be evaluated in 2002. Creative Communities was contracted to carry out the evaluation which was very thorough and intense process for Board, Management and Staff. The evaluation was completed and presented to YCD in mid December 2002 and become an extremely valuable tool for the organisation.
In September 2002 YCD had been notified that 92 Lichfield Street had been sold and to the company 92 Lichfield Co and redevelopment was in the planning. The Manager contacted Christchurch City Council and requested a meeting about the commitment Council had to the ongoing support for YCD. A proposal was given to the finance committee asking for a further commitment for YCD lease costs. The commitment was set at 50,000 per year.
In May 2003 a building became available in Cashel Street and after several visits and much discussion with CCC property section and the owner we saw this as a brilliant option. The CCC was approached by the Manger to consider increasing the amount granted from 50,000 to 70,000. A 6 year lease was signed for 212 Cashel Street through to 23 Bedford Row and the centre was moved on the 7 July 2003. The new premises were very different to the previous venues. The building was 7 years old, Three stories high with many additional chattels.
Following the 22 February 2011 Earthquake YCD relocated to 301 Cashel Street where we continue to provide the services to Young People.
YCD had been for some time moving into working with Young People involved in the Justice system. It was decided to move the main focus of the organisation from Drop In to Case Management services for Young People.
YCD also increased the services provided by securing contracts and 15 years of life has determined the direction of services by being prepared to consider change based on need.
YCD Provides services to Young People who are at risk of or who are getting involved in an offending circle. The services offered at YCD have been developed over time through recognising a need. There are now some Care and Protection services within YCD focusing on safety, wellbeing, education and support.
YCD has a diverse staff makeup offering physical, psychological, cultural and spiritual safety in the services.
All staff are required to be Members of the Canterbury Youth Workers Collective practicing within the the standards set out in the Code of Ethics.
Through the projects run at YCD Young People are case managed providing assessment of need and referrals to specific and appropriate agencies for things such as, Drug and Alcohol, Stopping Violence, Abuse and Grief Counselling, Whakapapa, Victim Support and Legal advice. Young People are also encouraged to reconnect with old interests such as Sport, the Arts, Cultural Groups, Church and other activities. All services offered at YCD are inline with the Youth Development Strategy, Youth Offending Strategy and the Youth Health Strategy.