BUDDI Team Leader Nicqui Yazdi holding the CDAT State Influence Award.
BUDDI Team Leader Nicqui Yazdi holding the CDAT State Influence Award.

Helping making Schoolies safe in our town

A BYRON Bay group has been awarded for the work they do in the community.

Last week in Sydney, the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team were honoured with a very prestigious award for the Byron Schoolies Safety Response & Schoolies HUB initiative.

The team were awarded the very first ever 2016 CDAT NSW State Influence Award for excellence for a CDAT initiative, awarded by the NSW Ministry of Health and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

There were also six Regional awards given out to other Community Drug Action Teams across the state, a spokesperson from BUDDI explained.

There are now more than 70 CDATs across NSW, with another 220 to be rolled out across Australia over the next four years.

For the BUDDI CDAT initiative to have been chosen over all the initiatives of the more than 70 other CDATs in NSW, was quite an achievement, as CDATs are the driving force in most communities, when it comes to initiatives and programs that aim to address major concerns and create change regarding the misuse of alcohol and drugs in their communities and there are some excellent programs run by these groups.

As far as school leavers celebrations go, Byron Bay is a destination of not only abundant beauty, but also a destination of excellence for young visitors during these celebrations, due to the services of the Schoolies HUB.

BUDDI Team Leader and Schoolies Coordinator Nicqui Yazdi said:

"We may not be able to change young people seeing 'schoolies' as a 'rite of passage', but we sure can change the way they do it here in Byron!

"The 2016 CDAT Influence State Award, really goes to all of those organisations that have helped the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team, with the Schoolies Safety Response over the last 9 years, and of course the Schoolies HUB Volunteers, without whom, none of this would be possible."

Ms Yazdi was also chosen as one of only six 'Star Profiles' from across NSW, presenting to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation's CDAT conference, on the Schoolies initiative.

The Byron Schoolies HUB kicks off next Friday, November 18.

The HUB is situated in Main Beach Park, open 24 hours a day for the 18 days of Schoolies celebrations, managing all manner of assistance to the 10,000 young visitors who descend on Byron each year, including providing first aid around the clock, free sunblock and condoms, a hydration station with free water, a 24 hotline, DJs, and free pancakes and chai in the evenings with the Red Frogs, tourist information and a range of other activities.

In 2016 the HUB has also added a HUB/Hospital Shuttle service for the evenings from 6pm to 6am.

They are still looking for volunteers for the HUB and in particular they are looking for more men, especially for the evening shifts and drivers for the shuttle service.

For information on the BUDDI Community Drug Action Team or the Schoolies HUB, or to volunteer, contact Nicqui at hubvolunteers@yahoo.com.au or call 0402013177.

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