$150k funding boost to help get South West young people active in community post-pandemic

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Ailish DelaneyBunbury Herald
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JSW Training CEO Posy Barnes, youth support worker Cathy McGill, senior social worker Kristy Zabaznow and Bunbury MLA Don Punch celebrating the $150,000 Lotterywest grant.
Camera IconJSW Training CEO Posy Barnes, youth support worker Cathy McGill, senior social worker Kristy Zabaznow and Bunbury MLA Don Punch celebrating the $150,000 Lotterywest grant. Credit: Ailish Delaney / South Western Times/Ailish Delaney

Young people in the South West are the focus of a new initiative that has received a funding boost of more than $150,000 to help re-engage them with the community post-COVID.

The Lotterywest grant of $154,290 will help Jobs South West bring young people aged 12 to 18 out of the shadows and “back into the sunshine” to re-connect with school and the community in Bunbury and Busselton.

Senior social worker Kristy Zabaznow said designing a program specifically to support families post-COVID came after speaking with service providers, who found a lot of their work had been on re-engaging children and families back into the community.

The focus isn’t specifically getting back to employment or education but to actually get them visible within the community again, so it’s about looking at their health needs, their education needs, their employment needs.

Kristy Zabaznow

“A lot of families started to focus on their own needs so the young people became quite housebound,” she said.

“It’s now starting to look at how can we engage these young people to get them transitioning back out, feeling better about themselves.

“The focus isn’t specifically getting back to employment or education but to actually get them visible within the community again, so it’s about looking at their health needs, their education needs, their employment needs.”

JSW Training youth support worker Cathy McGill, CEO Posy Barnes, senior social worker Kristy Zabaznow.
Camera IconJSW Training youth support worker Cathy McGill, CEO Posy Barnes, senior social worker Kristy Zabaznow.

Ms Zabaznow said the program would cater to 10 children at any one time and expected to work with 25 to 50 over a rolling period.

“It’s about what can we provide them to help them ... looking at some of those diversionary style activities, getting them back out into the sunshine again and actually finding pathways forward we can establish with them,” she said.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said Bunbury was fortunate to have JSW as a member of the local community sector that contributed “outstanding” work helping young people in employment, education, training and life skills development.

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