Young Adults Programme

About the project

For young people aged 17-24(ish)
Fun, Mindfulness, Connection, Arts, Inspiration

Come to chill out, meet cool people, and explore the creative skills and passions you might not have known you had! A supportive community of friendly, open-minded people from all walks of life, who love getting together to make cool stuff happen. We meet regularly on Thursday afternoons for a facilitated arts and personal development group, and also run youth-led groups, community projects and intensives.

Thursday Arts and Awesomeness



words and biscuits

Peer-led creative writing group for young people. Come and drop words and biscuit crumbs all over your notebook.
When: Mondays 1-2pm
Where: Toi Ora Studio, 6 Putiki Street, Grey Lynn

First session of Term 2 is Monday 1st May, but you can jump in at any time.


What you can expect

  • A friendly, welcoming vibe
  • Food and drink!
  • Other young people around your age who are interested in arts and creativity
  • A youth worker who will be there at every session, who will help make it easy for you to get involved in the group and will listen to any worries you might have about it.
  • A ‘youthful’ professional artist, who is an expert in their field and passionate about sharing their craft
  • ‘Warm-up’ games to help us get to know each other in a fun, low-pressure way 
  • A range of creative activities to try out to see what you enjoy and develop your skills
  • To be able to opt in or out of any activity we are doing
  • To have a say in what the group does and how it runs
  • Ideas and info about how to take your art further
  • Opportunities to share your work informally or in exhibitions

Professional Development and Networks

We run training for arts, youth, health, community and education practitioners sharing best practice and innovation in using creativity as a tool for engagement, learning, promoting health, wellbeing and community development outcomes. 

You can also contract us to deliver training for or in collaboration with you. 

We are launching a new series of monthly ‘Creative Conversations’ in June 2016, with our partners Whitecliffe College of Art and Design and University of Auckland with a focus on current developments and thinking in arts and health – here and overseas. 


To find out more about the Professional Development Programme, contact Amber Walls:



Educational Projects

We work with schools and alternative education providers. Some examples include:

Humans of Hendo

Humans of Hendo is a youth-led creative project that connects young people with their community through photography and arts. The project engages young people in personal development, offers new skills and creates a platform for to have a positive public voice. Up-skilled and armed with cameras, they spend time with people from their community from all walks of life.  During their interaction they talk with their ‘subjects’ learning about not only who they are, but how they experience life in their community. They capture and document this with their camera, and through written and digital art-forms that will accompany the final works.

The project will be continuing in 2016 with students from 2015 coming back to support and mentor new students in the project.  In addition, a leadership programme for those returning students has been developed to further develop their skills through a self-selected project. They will be supported to plan, lead, implement, and prepare the project for the final exhibition and book. The final works are then exhibited in a local Henderson-based space (e.g. Henderson Library), online via Facebook and the Humans of Hendo website, and also in a published book.

West Auckland
Resilience Project

The West Auckland Resilience Project is working with a group of young people from West Auckland who are either in Alternative Education already, or have been identified through the Youth at Risk Network and are yet to be re-engaged in education.  All of them have been on a rough road to get where they are today, and through the programme we’re aiming to help provide them with some skills and knowledge that will help them be more resilient and navigate a more positive pathway back into education and achievement. They’ll be working on creative projects led by inspirational artists and youth workers. 

As well as working with these young people our team will be  working with the adults that work and engage with them, because a truly resilient person has a great team of people around them supporting them as well and we want to help build that. So we’ll be working with alternative education tutors, police, CYFS, health workers and families. By the end of the programme we’re aiming for a group of kids that feel much more capable of facing and working through the challenges they will inevitably face.



We work in partnership with a range of organisations, using creative activities and processes to deepen engagement, build connections, reinforce learnings and cover everything in glitter. Some examples of partnerships so far have included:

  • Designing week-long multi-arts holiday intensives with Odyssey House youth residential addiction rehabilitation service.
  • Delivering day-long interactive music workshops within the Richmond mobile youth mental health services’ holiday programme.
  • Running ‘Whanau Days’ with Te Puawai Aroha, a programme that works with children of parents with addiction issues. At these events, whanau were invited to come together to work on creative challenges and projects, with a view to enhancing connections and building resilience.
  • Presenting creative engagement activities, ideas and support for HEART (Healthy Relationships in Tamaki) community events.
  • Facilitating T-shirt design and screenprinting for the Mana Rangatahi Youth Development programme at the Glen Innes Family Centre
  • Offering creative wellbeing workshops as part of the Kari Centre Youth Transition Service programme
  • Contributing to the Health West Young Fathers’ programme via confidence-building interactive music activities

Youth Week

In June 2016 we collaborated with a group of young people from the Express Yourself Young Adults programme to bring together a week of creative goodness at Toi Ora.

Throughout the week we exhibited artwork by three talented young artists from the Toi Ora community: Joshua Rainbow, Jessica Veralee, and Marie Cook, along with photographs from the 'Humans of Hendo' project with youth from alternative education in West Auckland, and a mass participation box art installation.

We kicked off the week with an exhibition opening, where we had performances by young spoken word artists, musicians, break-dancers and circus performers. 

We also ran three inspiring youth-led workshops throughout the week in song-writing, stencil art, and theatre.