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June 21, 2021

Free alcohol, drug training on offer

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James Wright and Nicqui Yazdi Photo Jeff Dawson

Organisers of the Byron Schoolies Safety Response are excited to announce that this year the Schoolies HUB Volunteers will be able to undergo a number of free training programs, thanks to a $20,000 harm minimisation grant to the BUDDI-managed Local Drug Action Team from the Alcohol & Drug Foundation.

Vollies, funding needed for schoolies

Yet despite the funding, organisers say there is a race against time to find enough volunteers to help in the Schoolies HUB this year, as well as the financial support to keep the HUB operating on Main Beach.

Up to 14,000 school leavers are expected to celebrate the end of Year 12 in Byron this year, say organisers. 

The HUB will again operate 24 hours a day, from Friday November 16 through to December 3, where  water, first aid, sunblock, free condoms, resources, tourist and other information will be available.

Co-ordinator Nicqui Yazdi says the funding is specifically to train volunteers, and for the first time there will be a number of workshops on alcohol and other drug training, as well as First Aid training.

‘But volunteers must sign up within the next two weeks to take advantage of this free training offer,’ Yazdi said, ‘We are also still looking for financial assistance to fund the rest of the HUB operation, so we are seeking the support of the local business community.’

‘It’s great to have all this amazing training money, but we still have a long way to go to cover all of the HUB needs and expenses and it’s just five weeks away now!’

Yazdi added the rising cost of housing over the last few years has hugely impacted on their volunteer numbers, with many of the longer-term volunteers having moved.

Parents encouraged

James Wright, 22, of Byron, who is a BUDDI team member and supervisor in the Schoolies HUB, said, ‘It’s crucial that we have more volunteers and it would be amazing to see more parents with their teens sign up and also more young people, as it is a great way to see schoolies from the flip side’.

To register to volunteer or for more information about how to support the Byron Schoolies Safety Response contact Nicqui Yazdi on 0402 013 177 or email [email protected]


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