The youth of our diverse inner-city neighbourhoods are incredibly creative, clever and resilient, however, for young people experiencing socio-economic disadvantage access to opportunity and engagement in education can become a challenge.
Bullying and exposure to violence can also impact on young people’s capacity to build on their strengths, and enjoy their teenage years.
This is why a safe, coordinated environment where young people can speak up and be heard, and are supported to develop life skills, is so vital.
For our BaptistCare HopeStreet Inner City team, it's a real privilege to connect with and support young people as they go through their formative years (10 to 17 years of age) from our Youth Centre in Woolloomooloo.
“We’re providing a place where kids can experience opportunities that they may not otherwise have access to, where they can be supported in a safe and creative space,” said Anna Hughes, Community Development Coordinator, BaptistCare HopeStreet.
“It’s all about piquing their interest and challenging them with something new. The feedback from both the kids and their parents is so positive.”
"My kids always love coming. They are excited every Tuesday. The kids do beautiful, creative activities and they are fiercely proud of the results" said Liz, the mum of one of the kids attending the Youth Centre.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, children aged between 10 to 12 participate in programs and receive help with homework. Age appropriate programs focus on building creative skills and supporting young people’s wellbeing, such as life skills education, art and design, leadership development programs and mindfulness activities. The latest program for this age group was a series of story-telling workshops that built young people’s creativity and literacy skills.
“On Tuesday we are open from 5pm to 6pm for 12 to 17-year-olds to drop in, and on Wednesdays there’s an offering for these older children also,” said Anna.
“We’re currently organising cooking projects for them so they can learn how to feed themselves… that age group can eat! We’re also planning a five-week workshop run by an Astrophysicist from a local university. One week they’ll be making rockets, the next educational at the same time.”
Created after a deep dive into understanding the needs of Woolloomooloo’s young people, HopeStreet’s Youth Centre received a NSW Government grant for renovations and to get the program started. COVID-19 safety guidelines are strictly followed to keep our staff and youth safe.
To support our Youth Centre, visit hopestreet.org.au/donate