Delivering frontline services and programs in 640 communities across Australia, the Y is seeing and hearing the impacts of COVID-19 on young people first-hand including from its own 12,000 employees, of which 60% are under 30.
With a 175-year legacy of supporting young people through events such as the Spanish Flu, World War I, World War II, the great Depression, and more recently the Global Financial Crisis, the Y is well-placed to understand the impacts of global crises on young people.
“We are still here for young people and the communities that support them, including our own – we’re just doing it in different ways,” said the Y’s National CEO Melinda Crole.
“For example, we are now delivering many youth services online including case work for at-risk youth, free online workouts for our members and staff and gymnastics coaching online. Our accommodation in Brisbane had been opened up to the homeless, and we have young people delivering food parcels in Darwin, Bundaberg and Brisbane.
“Physically, we’re still providing child care, outside school hours care and vacation care, mainly for emergency workers, and school holiday programs for at-risk youth, and we’re still running disability services, including some online, and our 5 pools we managed in the Top End opened again over the weekend.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that the full range of community services we provide Australia are needed now and they are going to be needed more than ever once we get through this pandemic, however more support from Governments and aligned partners for the community sector as a whole would help us expand on this vital work,” Ms Crole said.
“We’re facing an exceptional challenge.
We’ve all felt it. And it’s left many young people unemployed and disconnected.
But great challenges bring great inspiration.
We’ve seen young people responding with compassion and creativity.
Stepping up. Taking control and showing true leadership.
We’d like to let you know that we’re here. And we’re not going anywhere.
Because we believe in the power of inspired young people.”
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