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The Y to tackle youth disadvantage in San Remo

20 Oct 2020 - Media ReleasesYouth

A new YMCA NSW (the Y) program aiming to change the tune on youth disadvantage and wellbeing in San Remo kicks off on Tuesday, October 20.

The Y’s Streetgym brings young people, youth workers and local services together in local parks to break down barriers, improve mental and physical wellbeing and promote community connection. 

Program Coordinator Virginia Walshaw said Streetgym would become a pathway to more support and personal growth for the youth of San Remo.

“We know that young people are really feeling the pressure right now. Since the Y launched our Central Coast Call A Youth Worker hotline in response to COVID-19 in March, calls about mental health have doubled,” Virginia said. 

“The pandemic has been isolating - one of the most important things we can do to combat this is engage young people within their own communities again on their own terms.

“What you’ll see is a bunch of kids playing ball games in the park, socialising and getting fit. But what’s going on beyond the surface is so much more powerful than that; slowly we are building trust so they can open-up about what’s happening in their world.”

San Remo is in the top 10% of disadvantaged postcodes in Australia according to the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (2016). 

“The North of Wyong region has some of the highest rates of youth disengagement and antisocial behaviours on the Coast,” Virginia added. 

“‘With the invaluable support of LINKS Youth Support Services and San Remo Neighbourhood Centre, Streetgym in San Remo will create a familiar and safe space where young people can access good food, exercise, make friends and get advice from an adult if they need help. It encourages young people to step out of their comfort zones and have a go and the result is the empowering feeling of having achieved something awesome for yourself.” 

The Y invites young people aged 12-18 of all abilities and support needs to participate.

Tuesday’s kick off session will begin at 3pm at the LINKS Youth Cabin at the San Remo Neighbourhood Centre (also known as The Epicentre) and be attended by LINKS Youth Support Services, a Y youth worker and Y fitness instructor. The Y welcomes interest from other local service providers to get involved in the program. 

The program will run on Tuesdays during school term from 3-5pm and is proudly sponsored by the Waratah Education Foundation. For more information contact Virginia on 0409 658 302 or email youth@ymcansw.org.au. 

MEDIA | Madeleine Clarke 0400 974 816 or Andrew Williams 0439 427 522

PICTURED: Luke Logan-Jones (14), Joshua Thompson (16) and Baxter Marshall, (15) who have participated in Streetgym at Lake Haven since it began in late 2019. 

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