THE SteppingOut4Youth centre has been forced to relocate after it was told to include teachings of God into its program and refused to do so.
SteppinOut4Youth hadbeen located in a building within the Leeton Salvation Army’s headquarters in Maple Street, but is now searching for a new home.
The Salvation Army said it never made the request to include religious teachings.Co-ordinator Anna Celi said the Salvation Army had requested the program find a way to include God in its activities, but that wasn’t something SteppinOut4Youth wanted to do.
“We’re a youth group for the kids …the CRC church has a great youth group that includes that sort of thing in their activities, but it’s not something we would do,” Mrs Celi said.
“SteppinOut4Youth is about bringing kids together and having a positive impact on them.The centre provides a place for them to go. We have two current programs happening at the moment and they will still continue. We just need to find somewhere permanent for the centre.
“Every Friday we have kids coming in of all ages and they really take ownership of what they want to do.It is disappointing that we now have to move …we’ve been in there for about 13 months, but we’ll pick ourselves up and be bigger and better.”
A Salvation Army spokesman denied the organisation had told SteppinOut4Youth to start including religion its programs.
“No, this is simply not true,” the spokesman said.“While the SteppinOut4Youth program operates on a Salvation Army site, the program is run independently of the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army did not make this request.
“Leeton Salvation Army leadership and church members are currently reassessing their resources, both financial and personnel, and are planning a way forward to continue to meet the needs of the Leeton community.”To assist the group in finding a permanent home contact Mrs Celi.
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