By Michelle Nelson
Cactus is all about challenging young people to push themselves and reach for their goals, and the Safer Community Council has high hopes for the success of the programme in Ashburton.
After months of planning, the Cactus programme will kick off for the first time on February 12, led by Kerry Kampjes, who doubles as a youth support worker for SSC and funded by the Ashburton Youth Institute.
The Cactus programme has been running in Westport for some years and has provided impetus for many young people to make positive changes in their lives.
SCC co-ordinator Kevin Clifford and Mr Kampjes are optimistic the programme will work well in Mid Canterbury, catching at-risk youth before problems escalate. But, Mr Clifford said, Cactus was for everybody, aged between 11 and 15 years of age and almost everyone would get something out of the course.