An active wellness program run by the Y NSW is helping vulnerable young people stay on track and start 2020 strong.
Uplift, a free active wellness program for 16-24 year olds, kicks off in Ku-ring-gai, Mount Annan and Penrith next week. Over 6 weeks at the gym, young people will learn the benefits of physical activity and develop skills in emotional resilience, stress management and goal setting.
22-year-old Douglas McAndrew participated in the Uplift program in Penrith last year and now attends the gym regularly as well as participating in the Uplift Alumni program. He said Uplift helped him cope during a difficult time.
“I was working two jobs early last year and I got sacked by my morning job, I was basically in a position where I was looking at losing my house. I contacted Platform Youth Services, they put me onto Uplift and it really helped me get back on my feet in terms of both my mental and physical health,” he said.
“There’s a social aspect to it, before Uplift I didn’t really have much of a social life. I used to be really sporty and fit and I’m starting to get back to that point.”
CEO of the Y Susannah Le Bron said the program’s renewal was timely given the impact of the bushfires and national disaster over summer.
“Young people are exposed to social, financial and academic stress, and maintaining a positive and productive life in the face of disaster can be challenging,” Ms Le Bron said.
“Our trainers and youth workers tailor the program for individuals, so there’s no one size fits all model.
“We encourage young people to get involved and arm yourself with physical and mental resilience to achieve your goals and be the best people you can be.”
Since the beginning of 2019, 103 young people have completed the program, with 92 per cent reporting improved physical fitness. 90 percent of participants made positive connections throughout the program and 78 percent reported improvements to their mental health.
Uplift will run at Ku-ring-gai Fitness & Aquatic Centre (KFAC) – every Tuesday from 4:30pm, Y Penrith – every Tuesday from 5:30pm, and Mount Annan Leisure Centre – every Wednesday from 6.30pm.
The program will also run at Y Epping on Thursdays 5.30-7pm starting from March 5th. Y Hawkesbury, and Manning Aquatic and Leisure Centre will commence in 2020 with start dates coming soon.
To find out more about Uplift and how to enrol, visit: https://www.ymcansw.org.au/community-services/mental-health/uplift/
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