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Some of the many young people BYSA hjas helped over the years. Some of the many young people BYSA hjas helped over the years. Featured


After the NSW Govt closed the door on funding
A VITAL youth service in Blacktown is set to close after missing out on important State Government funding.
The Blacktown Youth Support Association’s Youth HQ program helps young people at risk - those who have been in trouble with the law or those who may be headed that way.
But the service was told at the end of last year by the Department of Communities and Justice that they had missed out on funding, in favour of more “targeted” youth programs.
A letter from the Minister for Families and Communities Gareth Ward suggested that the BYSA seeks funding from other government departments such as education and sport.
State Labor MP for Blacktown, Stephen Bali, has also appealed to Mr Ward without success.
BYSA is surviving on support from private businesses but Mr Bali said “BYSA cannot survive on private philanthropy or charge fee for service to the most vulnerable people in our society”.
Mr Bali sent the letter to Mr Ward in early March and, at the time of publication, had not heard back from the Minister.
We are getting desperate
“We are getting quite desperate,” Mr Bali told the Blacktown News.
“Other youth services may offer support in finding employment for young people but BYSA is more activity-based, where people can hang out and be themselves but also get guidance,” Mr Bali said.
“These are young people who may be struggling with life, escaping domestic violence, or who need support in the criminal justice system.”
Mr Bali said the cost of diverting young people from trouble was less than trying to get them out of trouble.
“This centre cannot close, for all those kids who want to make a difference in their lives,” Mr Bali said.  He and the centre’s management are hoping to get more business support as well as a government grant that will enable the service to carry on.
BYSA Youth Officer Alison Becroft told the News that the service would close, or at least struggle, when the $10,000 received from the Blacktown Workers Club ran out.
“We are just buying time until we receive more help- from the government or Blacktown businesses,” Ms Becroft said.
“We are the only youth service offering help that engages young people the way we do. These are at-risk young people who are facing the justice system.
“The cost of running our service is small compared to the cost of locking up young people.”
Any businesses or organisatons interested in helping BYSA can check out their website for more details -  www.bysa.org.au


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Access News is a print and digital media publisher established over 15 years and based in Western Sydney, Australia. Our newspaper titles include the flagship publication, Western Sydney Express, which is a trusted source of information and for hundreds of thousands of decision makers, businesspeople and residents looking for insights into the people, projects, opportunities and networks that shape Australia's fastest growing region - Greater Western Sydney.