The Coonamble Youth Center has undergone some major changes under the youth programs that are being run. This work is to enhance the afternoon programs that are being run and the Case Management of clients that this center is utilised for.
Around four (4) years ago the staff from the Youth programs approached Management to see if they could make use of an empty building. The idea was to create a great place; somewhere to take the youth centre kids for them to be involved in program activities. These would include afternoon boxing, a music program, cooking and chill out sessions.
Project Leader John Lewis said “When we got the keys and opened it up it was like something from an Indiana Jones movie. We had to fight through the cob webs with broom handles just to walk down the hall."
“So we set about with very little money to make something of it. We had the kids on paint brushes and all”.
In the last couple of months with huge support from REDI.E, PM&C and FAC’s and all in Dubbo, John and his team have been able to do some major work including a multi station kitchen, new instruments for the kids to learn music, new lounges, a boxing ring with better equipment in the boxing room. They have also converted a storage area into a study room, chill out and meeting room, which the other agencies are already utilising for meetings with their clients.
The Coonamble Youth Centre are seeing up to 40 kids of an afternoon come into the centre and/or usilitising the basketball court for hours which has been a positive impact for the community.
The building has also undergone external painting - with a mural to be painted by the kids during the upcoming holidays.
The back area is being turned into a healthy living garden where the kids can grow fruit and veggies, be taught how to prepare and cook them which they then take home to prepare and cook for their families.
This initiative is funded/supported by the Australian Government.