Visitor Solutions was commissioned to undertake a needs assessment on youth within Auckland’s Wesley area.

The research had to provide specific and detailed understanding, so we interviewed a comprehensive cross-section of the community. Interviewees range from young sports people and ethnic leaders to at-risk youth and gang members. The research found a clear need for a safe youth space in the community.

The recommendation was for a stand-alone centre, available to Wesley youth after school hours and during the weekends. Although youth programmes were seen as essential, youth identified that an accessible physical space was of higher immediate importance. Many youth were largely unaware of existing community programmes. They considered a dedicated youth centre as not only providing a safe space, but also a way of lifting the profile of existing programmes in the area.

Visitor Solutions were retained to undertake detailed planning and feasibility research. This covered demographic data, youth centre visitation, catchment areas, space requirements, site layout, revenue streams, management structures, capital and operational costs. Council subsequently endorsed the recommended option and developed a $3.2m youth centre. Visitor Solutions was subsequently contracted by the project architects to provide facility design advice.