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Applications have opened for funding under the $100,000 Youth in Emergency Preparedness Fund, Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.

“This is about growing the involvement of young people in civil defence and emergency services in New Zealand,” says Ms Kaye.

“The fund will support a national programme run collaboratively by the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) and the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM).

“I expect this to fund a diverse range of youth-led initiatives, from volunteering opportunities to public education and public preparedness campaigns.

“It’s important we build our resilience as a nation to natural disasters and emergencies. This is a great way to get our young people involved in opportunities that enable them to grow and develop new skills while contributing significantly to their communities at the same time.”

The Youth in Emergency Preparedness Fund will support two programmes, the Youth in Emergency Services (YES) programme and the Youth in Civil Defence programme.

“The YES programme opens the door for young people to volunteer for and potentially follow a career path with emergency services such as fire, ambulance, Coastguard and search and rescue, while the Youth in Civil Defence programme is about fostering innovative ideas to encourage young people to get involved in civil defence and emergency management,” says Ms Kaye.

“Applications for funding are invited from schools, councils, youth organisations and regional civil defence and emergency management groups who identify opportunities to grow young people’s skills and enhance local communities through either or both of these programmes.

“The YES programme has been a real boost for communities which can sometimes struggle to attract emergency services volunteers, and I have seen first-hand the real pride and confidence that young people develop by acquiring valuable skills and serving their communities.

“The Youth in Civil Defence Fund has supported initiatives such as simulated emergency responses, emergency management workshops and emergency preparedness campaigns and aims to highlight exciting, innovative ways to involve young people in civil defence and emergency management.”

A panel including young people, emergency services representatives and officials from MYD and MCDEM will consider all funding applications.

“I expect this funding to pay dividends not just in terms of supporting the development of young people, but also in strengthening the safety and preparedness of communities across New Zealand,” says Ms Kaye.

More information about the Youth in Emergency Preparedness Fund is available at  http://www.myd.govt.nz/funding/youth-in-emergency-preparedness-fund.html

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