October 16, 2015

Bankstown Outreach Youth Leadership Camp

These school holidays, Youth Off The Streets outreach services organised a range of activities for young people.

Our Bankstown outreach organised a youth leadership camp for young people aged 14-21 years old at Point Wolstoncraft. The aim of the camp was to unite young people who are passionate about developing their leadership skills and want to become agents of change in the Bankstown community.

The camp was organised in partnership with Bankstown City Council and brought together a total of 28 young people from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. Funding was raised by Youth Initiative Team members who also participated in the camp’s day to day activities.

During the camp, young people took part in various team building activities including sailing, rock climbing and high ropes and also had the opportunity to attend a series of leadership and project management workshops. In the workshops young people identified the needs and assets in the community and suggested various realistic solutions.

At the end of the workshops, two major ideas got developed into projects: a multicultural fest and an under 18 party for Bankstown youth. The Council provided young people with a grant by Multicultural NSW of $5000 to deliver those projects within the next 6 months.

A commitment has been asked from all participants to continue planning and organising the projects. It will bring the Bankstown outreach team one step closer to creating an active volunteer base of youth leaders that take ownership of their own communities, create opportunities for other disadvantaged young people, and share their skills and experiences in the long run.

Hunter Valley Outreach – fun day out

Further north, our Hunter Valley Outreach took their East Cessnock and Kurri outreach young people to Charlestown Square shopping centre to participate in a range of activities.

The day started off with a visit to Strike bowling for unlimited ten pin bowling games, followed by unlimited laser tag games, and an hour at Timezone to finish off the afternoon. For the majority of the young people, this meant experiencing something that they had never done before. Five out of the six boys from East Cessnock had not been to Charlestown Square or Time-zone before and one had never been bowling before, in addition a couple of the Kurri young people had never been to laser tag or Time-zone so there was a lot of excitement on the day.

In addition to the excitement of learning a new skill, feedback from the young people at the end was very positive. When asked what life skills they learnt on the day, the majority listed: speaking in front of a group, making decisions, working as part of a team, and improved leadership skills and confidence. All of which they learnt in a friendly and cooperative manner.

“Both groups were really well behaved, they supported each other in all the activities and they were also able to put their team skills to work in order to develop strategies for their group to win in laser tag. Overall, the young people had a fantastic time and had a great experience at the shopping centre.” Said the program manager of the day.

These programs provide excellent opportunities for young people to not only interact with their peers and local community but to learn and develop vital life skills that they can apply later in life.

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