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Extra support . . .  Mountainview High School 24/7 YouthWork youth worker Jeremy Bowman has been joined by Sonya Stamp in the role. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

by Greta Yeoman

Mountainview High School has a second youth worker from the 24/7 YouthWork scheme.

Timaru resident Sonya Stamp joined the 24/7 team about a month ago, just after the start of term 2.

She joins Jeremy Bowman, who has been solo in the role on a part-time basis for most of the three years he has worked at Mountainview.

Started in Christchurch in the 1990s, 24/7 YouthWork provides youth workers to work in secondary schools.

While the scheme is traditionally a partnership between a school and a local church which helps fund the youth workers, Mountainview is supported by the Timaru Christian Ministers Association, which is a combination of church leaders from across the town.

Ms Stamp said the role was about helping youth and connecting with the wider community.

Both youth workers went to high school in Timaru, Mr Bowman to Mountainview and Ms Stamp to Roncalli.

They are also both leaders at Life Church’s youth group.

Mr Bowman said the scheme had been at the school for about seven years, after the initial local co-ordinator got in contact with the Christchurch team that first established the youth work programme in the early 1990s.

The part-time youth workers were about “presence-based” youth work, which meant they just hung around different classes and places at breaks.

Mr Bowman said the addition of Ms Stamp to the Mountainview 24/7 team would allow for more support of female pupils.

He held a boys’ group on a Tuesday afternoon, which included learning about how they could get the most from their time at school.

Mountainview was the sole South Canterbury school with 24/7 workers at present, but the 24/7 was always interested in partnering with other schools, Mr Bowman said.