Planet Youth is one of several programs Council is involved in that focuses on drug and alcohol prevention and youth engagement. The programs are delivered in partnership with community agencies, including a formal partnership with Mountains Youth Services Team
Planet Youth is a world-renowned drug and alcohol prevention program that originated in Iceland and is now implemented in over 20 countries. The Project relies on active involvement from Local Government, schools, community organisations, parents, and other stakeholders in the community to drive community change.
PROJECT PLANT IT
Project Plant It was developed by Blue Mountains Youth Council. This initiative supported young people to make a positive difference in their communities and for the health of the planet. Project Plant It engages the youth of the Blue Mountains LGA and the Council Bushcare team to plant trees together for an educational Bushcare experience.
See the Project Plant It team in action. Watch the video by clicking here.
Headspace is a national program that delivers mental health support to young people aged 12 to 25 years to reduce the impact of depression, anxiety, stress, alcohol and drug use, as well as issues associated with sexuality, sexual health, families and bullying.
Headspace Katoomba is a satellite service that will join a network of over 100 centres across Australia. The service will be located at 37 Waratah Street, Katoomba, across the road from Woolworths and is due to open in June or July 2020.
The centre will be run by Parramatta Mission. Council will participate in the centre’s sub-committee alongside government and non-government organisations in order to support the service and advise on service delivery.
FARM IT FORWARD
Farm It Forward arose from the “Grounded” social enterprise initiative involving permaculture training which Council initiated in partnership with the Big Fix and the BM Permaculture Institute, through the leadership and skills of Lis Bastion. Participants in this program went on to develop the “Farm It Forward” initiative with Council’s support through a grant, and small business start-up support.
The initiative is supported by Lyttleton Gardens, lead by a local sustainable food activist Emmanuela Prigioni, and involves utilising unused land provided by elderly and other residents for small scale farming. Farm It Forward provides food to the landholder at no cost, alongside a small profit that is returned to the Project through the sale of produce. The project obtained a NSW Govt Youth Opportunities grant allowing for 12 months development of the benefits to young people and establishment of the project.
Farm It Forward: This is a project that enables young people to gain meaningful employment, skills, and social connections in the process of producing organic, healthy food locally grown.
Consultations - feedback from young people
Here are some of the things that young people are saying are important to them:
- Opportunities for education and learning.
- More employment opportunities in the Mountains.
- Affordable housing and homelessness.
- Quality of the environment and its value for maintaining mental and physical health.
- Safety on our streets, townships and transport.
- More events and cultural activities for young people.
How Council supports young people
We endeavour to stay informed by continually consulting with young people through the Youth Council and giving them opportunities to voice their opinions on the future of the Blue Mountains. We also work with community partners to ensure appropriate youth support services are available for young people to thrive. We also support young people by:
- Providing facilities and amenities for youth services to operate and young people to meet.
- Maintaining and upgrading playgrounds, play equipment and sports fields.
- Supporting a range of youth participation projects, working with other Council staff to provide assets such as accessible sports facilities, and partnering in events like Youth Week and the Katoomba Live and Local micro-music festival.
- Coordinating and working with community groups and services so that young people have opportunities to connect. These including the Stronger Families Alliance, Mountains Youth Services Team, Platform Youth Services, NSW Health, NSW Department of Education, NSW Police, Blue Mountains Community Drug Action Team and the Linker Network.
- Supporting the Blue Mountains Youth Council with their activities and community project.
Our Community Development team includes two specialist Community Development Officer's for Young People. They are supported by a Social Researcher, a Program Leader and other team-members, all working together with staff across Council, community services and organisations.