Disadvantaged and disengaged youth in Bathurst will have access to free workshops to support their wellbeing and help them reconnect with others following the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the NSW Government is providing $65,590 to fund a program developed by Bathurst Regional Council aimed at supporting youth aged 8 to 16.
“This program called Marang Connections will provide our young people with a series of sessions where they can connect with others through a shared experience in topics like cooking, sports, music, arts and health activities,” Mr Toole said.
“Through events and activities that bring people together, we can help grow a better sense of connection and social wellbeing in our community. The workshops funded by this program can facilitate a sense of belonging, which research shows is strongly linked to improved mental health outcomes.”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the Marang Connections program will be free of charge and run for 12 months.
“It’s so important that we support our youth, especially following the devastating impacts caused by the global pandemic,” Mr Franklin said.
“Marang is a Wiradjuri word meaning well or good, which is why it’s appropriate for this program that is designed to improve wellbeing and help create a good lifestyle for our young people who’ve been deeply affected by the events of recent years.”
Mayor of Bathurst Robert Taylor said the majority of sessions will be held at the Kelso Community Hub located at 24 Bonnor Street, Kelso.
“The Kelso Community Hub is a community space built for programs like this one,” said Mr Taylor.
“We encourage youth from across the region to take advantage of these free workshops to reconnect with others and build a sense of belonging.”
The NSW Government has committed more than $4 million across 76 community wellbeing focused events and initiatives.
For more information visit: www.nsw.gov.au/resilience-nsw/covid-19-community-connection-and-wellbeing-program.