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Youthtown is a not for profit organisation delivering quality programmes, workshops and events to young New Zealanders.
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Some of you may have seen an article in the NZ Herald titled ‘Farewell to Youthtown’. This headline referred to the closure of our building at 68 Nelson St, Auckland, but has been misinterpreted by some readers. Youthtown as an organization is in no way saying goodbye, and is as vibrant as ever with exciting plans for the future.
As many of you will know, we closed 68 Nelson St in January 2014, as a precautionary measure, in order to undertake site works for lead remediation in the basement historically used by a rifle range.
In September 2014, Youthtown communicated that it wasn’t financially viable to return to the building and the building has now been decontaminated prior to demolition.
Youthtown has sadly fare-welled the building with a blessing and continues to progress well with their strategy to be sustainable by expanding into key communities across NZ, mostly based in schools. This ensures that all the Youthtown programmes are much more accessible to young people everywhere, empowering more young New Zealanders, than ever, to be the best they can be.
In regard to the lead decontamination at 68 Nelson St : as any further information has come to hand during the process, Youthtown has acted responsibly and sought professional, expert health advice, reporting to the public health authorities as required. Youthtown has also commissioned a report from a highly qualified health professional in order to find out the likely exposure that anyone attending the building may have experienced.
There is a small risk that people who used to frequent the facility were exposed to lead in the building.
In 2012 and again in 2014, staff who worked in the areas of most risk, such as the basement, were tested together with any other staff who wanted to be tested. All results were below the levels that would give any concern.
However if anyone else is concerned about their exposure to lead from visiting the building, they should see their GP.