Young people in Wellington are reaping the rewards of free after-school activities thanks to the NSW Nationals in the state government’s Children and Young People Wellbeing Recovery initiative.
Nationals Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said the Wellington PCYC has received $28,999 to establish the Connecting to Sports program, in partnership with Communities for Children.
“From junior and high school basketball competitions to cooking and arts and crafts, these programs are already proving incredibly popular with young people in Wellington,” Mr Saunders said.
“These programs are not only teaching important life skills, they’re building resilience in a community that’s been hit hard by drought, COVID and now flooding.
“The PCYC team is also working to extend some of these programs to surrounding villages, so more isolated young people can still experience the benefits for their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.”
The Connecting to Sports program aims to improve educational disengagement and reduce offending behaviour in Wellington. The program focuses on children and young people aged 6-17 years old, and transport will be offered to and from the PCYC to help those young people who may be isolated due to their location or personal circumstances.
PCYC manager Sonya Rath said the free programs remove two main barriers to participation – money and transport. She said 25 young people attended the first basketball session last week.
“It gives the kids a place to come, there’s plenty of laughing, a bit of competitiveness but it’s just good to see them enjoying themselves,” Miss Rath said.
“We’re also promoting good mental health just by having them physically active, and Communities for Children is helping us with a cooking program, teaching the kids some great living skills.”
The Children and Young People Wellbeing Recovery Initiative is funded through the NSW COVID-19 Economic Recovery Initiative and the co-funded NSW and Australian Governments’ Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply for funding for wellbeing programs, events and resources as part of the initiative.
Applications for both large and smaller grants are open now and close on 31 December 2022, or when fully allocated.
For program and eligibility guidelines, visit nsw.gov.au/YouthWellbeing