Since 2019 Empower has utilised multiple strategies to engage vulnerable young people and enable participants to self-identify goals that improve health and wellbeing and pathways to social, civic and economic participation opportunities. This includes assertive outreach to build trust, group work to develop social and peer support, information sessions that facilitate connections to services and youth led social events that build on young people’s strengths and celebrate achievements. Empower outreaches at Melbourne Polytechnic Epping and Innovation Youth Centre Bundoora also.
Innovation Youth Centre
Since 2018 Engage has connected young people from 12-25 in through activities, programs and events. Engage has centred around youth voices, youth consultation and youth direction. The first youth advisory group was formed and continues to this day as an advocacy group, from this young people identify needs and gaps that they can work towards helping to contribute to their communities. Engage has always run free training for all young people depending on the need to enhance and learn new skills with a view to pathways to employment through mentoring and volunteering. Engage takes a community development approach to youth work. In Engage we also take time to celebrate the youth achievements. Engage has been a part of the 16DOA campaign the last 3 years. A large part of Engage from 2018-2021 was youth volunteering, this started by removing the stigma around volunteering and promoting the positives roles like this could do for young people. Volunteering became a great tool for young people when it came to getting new experiences, helping community and their own self-worth. The Engage program remains strong engaging young people in youth voices in media, co-design programs, volunteering, employment information sessions and celebrations-recognising their contribution to community.
KIDS GET ACTIVE
The multi-sports Kids get active program is an inclusive multi-sports program for children & young people from CALD backgrounds who are socially and economically disadvantaged and at risk of disengaging from education and socially.
Our partner schools are Thomastown West Primary School, Thomastown Meadow Primary School, Edgars Creek Primary School, The Lakes South Morang, Epping Secondary College & Lalor Secondary College including a trial at Mernda Community House engaging with local schools in this growth corridor area.
In running “team sports” children & young people develop a range of skills including communication and team work including physical skills. Physical activity supported and helped to improve physical and mental health outcomes, particularly important in the context of COVID19 recovery.
Team sports are effective ways of creating new connections and support networks that facilitate a sense of belonging and increase children’s confidence and self- esteem, helping children to feel more empowered and connected to their schools.
The program is supported by sporting industry experts, and local community sporting partners from each of the selected sports to help guide and support the programs through supplying equipment, sportswear, training, providing trials for children, linking in to community clubs, facilities and expertise along with our dedicated sports youth worker.