Get-A-Way Youth Centre renovated while program manager waits for youth to be allowed back in

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Josh Cookson says it’s been strange working at Vulcan’s youth centre during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cookson started as the Get-A-Way Youth Centre’s youth program manager in mid-December.

“It’s weird doing a job for kids without having kids having round,” said Cookson.

Food Friday has been running at the youth centre from noon to 4 p.m. on Fridays, when a free lunch is provided to local youth, said Cookson. The program is COVID safe and follows all the regulations in place, said Cookson.

Cookson has been keeping himself busy with renovations to the youth centre, which is run by Vulcan and Region Family and Community Support Services.

“We’ve renovated a fair amount of the space,” said Cookson.

The washrooms have been fully renovated, the space has been rearranged, there are new tables and couches, the lights have been replaced, the gaming section has more options, and a music section has been added, said Cookson.


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Cookson has a minor in music from New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University, where he majored in both computer science and psychology. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in 2019.

While a couple of small projects remain, the renovation to-do list — which includes new carpet on the stairs — is now “pretty small,” said Cookson.

Cookson is now turning his attention to what kind of programming can be offered, both while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place and when they’re eased.

He hopes that when youth are able to spend time at the youth centre they can let their minds “wander about what they think they might be interested in.”

The centre gives youth the opportunity to acquire skills they wouldn’t necessarily pick up at school, said Cookson.

He’s hoping a babysitter course can run, as well as study sessions for youth wanting to take their driver learner’s exam.

Cookson, a 2013 County Central High School grad, said he was familiar with the Get-A-Way Youth Centre when he was in school but didn’t go there regularly.

But now that Cookson knows what the youth centre has to offer, he says he “kind of regret that now.”

The Get-A-Youth Centre is located at 105A Third Ave. S. — it’s in the basement below the FCSS office — and Cookson can be reached at 403-485-6033.

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