Paying it forward: How you can help our local youth

Paying it forward: How you can help our local youth

City Mission launches its ‘Pay It Forward’ campaign for 2023 signalling the start of a two-month long campaign to raise funds for Inside Out 4 Kids and The Mish to help equip youth aged 4-25 with the day-to-day skills required to manage personal health and in turn maintain employment. Whether it be social or systemic, City Mission is devoted to the youth and helping to create pathways through the difficulties so many face on a day-to-day basis. 

While the unemployment rate slowly falls, youth unemployment remains high throughout Tasmania. For the last 12 months it averaged 10% while the National average for 15–24-year-olds was 7.4%. 

Whilst young people are faced with many challenges when it comes to seeking employment, we need to get back to some basics. One-on-one mentoring and support is invaluable for those young people who need to build a range of non-vocational skills before training and employment options are even considered.  

“The Mish provides targeted support for youth and young people to see their generation find hope, engagement and fulfilment.” City Mission’s CEO Stephen Brown said 

“In conjunction with local partnered organisations and professionals, including Headspace and Head to Health, we deliver programmes that strike a balance between therapy, development and living skills, flexible pathways for young people seeking to re-join learning and work pathways, the development of micro business skills and nonconfrontational social interaction.” 

“We know we can create better awareness of the challenges our young people face and how City Mission programs Inside Out 4 Kids and The Mish provide support to overcome these hurdles and help build clear pathways for them to realise their ambitions.”  

Inside Out 4 kids, is an early intervention program building the emotional wellbeing for kids, “It provides 3 with a fourth programme under development, emotional literacy programmes for children with the aim of assisting them to develop healthy strategies to manage change, grief and loss and as I said, develop that literacy in emotional thinking.” 

The City Mission plan to launch an online learning platform, to be made available to help those out of the reach of the Inside Out 4 Kids program. Through this platform the City Mission hopes to train more of the key people in our schools, such as nurses, chaplains and teacher’s aids. 

“To address the considerable unmet need in North and NW Tasmania and to expand support in Southern Tasmania. We also have under development, an online learning platform and that will become available by the middle of this year.” Stephen continued, “This will enable ongoing updated content and improvements in the training programme.” 

Dedicated to making a positive impact in the community, Launceston City Mission continue to seek funding for its ongoing efforts to continue running programs such as the Emotional Literacy Program which costs the City Mission approximately $50 per child to do.  

General Manager of Client Services, Narelle Howell shared a story that showcased the tangible benefits of the ‘Pay It Forward’ campaign. Her narrative underscored how this initiative can generate a positive ripple effect throughout the community, creating meaningful improvements in the lives of those involved. 

The narrative commenced with a man called Peter who participated in the ‘Pay It Forward’ program every year and shared this knowledge with his young neighbour, Jenny. Like so many others, Jenny had a tough upbringing but was able to recognise assistance given to young people could turn her life around and now that she is older, she to donates $50 to pay it forward. 

The next part of the story delves into a boy by the name of Patrick who has a pretty good home life except for the fact that his Granddad passed away which made him very sad. Unsure of how to talk about his sadness, Patrick sometimes gets quite angry. 

“Patricks class just happened to have the Inside Out for Kids team come and do the Primary Emotional Literacy program with them for five weeks. Patrick really enjoys it and starts to understand all the things he feels when he thinks about his grandad.” Narelle shared 

“One of the most important things he learns is that it’s important to talk about his feelings and how much it helps him when he does talk about those feelings in a safe place.” 

The story concludes with Patrick continuing through life where he gets a job as a social worker, providing emotional assistance to others in need. 

“$50.00 allowed us to go into the school and change Patrick’s life.” Narelle said. 

“We weren’t the only answers, there’s lots of answers and lots more people have had their lives changed. Lives and communities can be changed through one simple act of giving that extends far beyond the initial act.” 

“Our Inside Out 4 Kids and The Mish services are not the entire solution for these young people in our community. We have many working together, but we aim to play our part in the connectors and integrated system of care in this community.” Said Stephen Brown. 

For more information about the ‘Pay it forward’ Campaign: https://www.citymission.org.au/support-us/donate-to-our-pay-it-forward-program 

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