Gunners Place is a new Youth Drop In Space which has been established in the Market Place Gungahlin. Run in collaboration between Barnardos Australia, Northside Community Services and Multicultural Hub Canberra, Gunners Place provides a centrally located safe space for the young people of Gungahlin to drop in and access supports and information.
For many years it has been acknowledged that Gungahlin required a safe and inclusive space for the young people in the region to have easy access to. A number of drop in type programs have been trialed in some of the local schools and colleges, but there have been difficulties with transport links and access issues which excluded many young people.
The collaboration between Barnardos, Northside and Multicultural Hub has created a safe which is centrally located close to transport links and which is accessible not just for young people but also other community groups who can utilise the space when not being used for youth drop in. The young people have been actively involved in the set up of the site from day one and it has allowed a range of services such as Messengers to bring their services to the area for the benefit of the local young people. The service has created strong links with the schools and colleges, local business chamber and the local public representatives and ongoing consultation with these groups has involved active participation and contribution from the young people. This has created and fostered an sense of empowerment and self advocacy within the local youth community and led to a sense of ownership over the program from the young people. Liaising and working with the real estate agent to utilise a hard to lease site has allowed the program to offer a safe space for young people from which data, outcomes and experiences can be utilised to advocate with Government for a more permanent long term solution to best meet the needs of the young people in Gungahlin