LDATs keeping busy during Youth Week
Across April and May, different states and territories are taking part in Youth Week.
Check out some of the fantastic activities that LDATs are running - celebrating the achievements of young people, making space to socialise and have fun, and working creatively to reduce the harm from alcohol and other drugs (AOD).
Amazing race for young people in Belmont, Victoria Park and South Perth
The Local Drug Action Team for Belmont, Victoria Park and South Perth (BVPSP) is running an Amazing Race-style event during WA Youth Week in early April.
It’s an exciting opportunity for young people aged 12- 17 years to meet each other and connect with service providers.
The morning will involve a Constable Care Theatre show, games and activities. Young people will visit the stallholders to solve the Amazing Race questions and be in the draw to win prizes.
Aran Zalewski (co-captain of the Kookaburras national hockey team, Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist) will be getting involved and helping to inspire the young participants to reach for their dreams.
There’s plenty of work going on behind the scenes too. The LDAT has almost finalised their Youth Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2025, which was delayed because of the pandemic. The LDAT is meeting soon to do a final review and launch by the end of June.
The aim of the plan is to reduce AOD harm amongst young people in the local government areas of Belmont, South Perth and Victoria Park. It has five focus areas that include underage drinking, adult supply, marketing, accessibility and community connections. Each focus area has different actions to address it.
“They are a very proactive group of stakeholders and have put in a lot of work to develop and finalise the plan. I am excited to see what they achieve in the future,” said Melissa Evans, Senior Community Development Officer with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.
Mentoring full steam ahead in south-west Victoria
Healthy Glenelg LDAT is based in coastal south-west Victoria, near Portland. They’re working with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation as part of a small group of LDATs refining future program modules.
The LDAT teamed up with a local high school on a mentoring activity, which supports young people to gain life skills and socialise across different age groups. The project includes refreshing existing resources, and a new staff member has come on board to run it.
So far, the project has been successful and there’s a waiting list of students who’d like to participate. A second round of mentor training will take place, with existing mentors getting involved in the training.
Linking in with health services in south-west WA
Brookton and Pingelly are regional towns located in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, over 100 kilometres from Perth.
To connect young people in with support, Brookton Pingelly LDAT created a wallet card with a list of local AOD and mental health service providers to share with young people in the area.
Participants could also have fun and keep fit with free recreational activities by showing their wallet card. The most popular activities were pool, basketball and gym sessions.
The wallet card project was successful in empowering young people in the region to seek help if they need it.
It was also a pilot, explained Melissa Evans, Senior Community Development Officer with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. This project had never been run in the region before and the LDAT was interested to find out if it would be effective.
"I was really pleased to hear how successful it was. The LDAT was great to work with and they are planning to continue with the success of their activities in their next CAP. They have received strong community buy-in, which was also great to hear.”
A survey showed that 57% of respondents reported an increased awareness of AOD and mental health services, 61% of respondents that attended one of the free activities reported a decrease in social isolation and 76% reported a decrease in boredom.
Keeping young Byron locals moving
Byron Youth Services (BYS) are very active and lead both Byron LDAT and Mullumbimby Youth LDAT.
Floods have hit the region hard in early 2022, and the community is in the middle of clean up.
Despite the circumstances, BYS intends to hold at least a BBQ and music event during NSW Youth Week to keep the conversation going with young people engaged in their mentoring program.
LDAT lead Rosalie Bryant from BYS explained that resilience is a skill they try to instil in the young people they work with.
“For us, resilience is not about reassuring the young people that everything will be OK. It’s about giving young people the tools and knowledge so that they are equipped to respond to challenges in their lives as they arise.”