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Tech for Youth and the YMCA 4C space

In 2018 Josie Ogden-Schroeder, the CEO of the YMCA in Christchurch, had an idea to build a space for youth where they could find, express and learn about their curiosity, communication, creativity and critical thinking. From this original idea, in December 2018 the YMCA 4C space was made with the goal to equip young people with the 4C key competencies (creativity, communication, critical thinking and curiosity) through the use of tech.

Josie had noticed that there was a lack of open learning/creative resources for those aged 14-25, especially for NEET youth in Christchurch. With support from the team at the YMCA and the Todd Foundation, the idea came to fruition and is now a hub of activity.

What is the 4C centre?

“It is a space for Youth to figure out what they are passionate about as well as develop the self-confidence that will carry them into pursuing their dreams.” Marlee Peach 4C Curator

The 4C centre has the latest technology in robotics, 3d printing, maker space, VR technologies, audio & video editing suite plus a chill out & games room. There are workshops and events ranging from pillow making to movie night to making your own laser cuttables.

Becoming a member is easy, the 4C space has more information on their webpage here where you can also find a blog, workshop and event dates and who to contact for more information.

But the centre is more than just a tech space to make stuff. GCSN was lucky to talk to Marlee Peach the 4C Curator to find out how she has seen members of 4C grow in confidence and entrepreneurship.

Growing our Youth

In the safe space of the centre Youth share their own ideas and visions. In response to these ideas staff show respect, support and guidance. This respect gives the members a confidence to build their ideas. Ideas that impact the member on both a personal level and the extension of their creativity out into the community.


“The impact it has on the young adults attending is deeply positive. The self-confidence that they gain from learning new skills, having their dreams supported and their ideas respected is massive.”


“Young people come in with no idea what any of the machines do or what they can do with them who now run small entrepreneurial businesses. I have seen someone come in with the intention of fixing an instrument and over time becoming the go-to teacher for our laser cutter.”

Marlee has seen the space impact young adults in many ways and on a deeper level she she has seen the space be a vessel for youth involved to learn more about themselves and who they want to be. It has given a space for them to figure out what they are passionate about as well as develop the self-confidence that will carry them into pursuing their dreams.

Visit the 4C centre


12 Hereford St, Christchurch Central City

021 032 2316.

Special thanks

Marlee Peach - 4C Curator

Luke Weber - Impact Director for YMCA Christchurch


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