Health, Youth

Resilient Kids Youth Participation Fund grants awarded

Written byAmanda Shoebridge
Published on16 May, 2024
A young girl wearing a protective surf helmet learns to braid rope

Eight community organisations have been chosen to receive grants of up to $150,000 from the Resilient Kids Youth Participation Fund.

The grants are a part of the Resilient Kids program, funded by Healthy North Coast through a $10 million initiative from the Australian Government to support disaster recovery for Northern Rivers young people aged eight to 18 years post-floods.

Resilient Kids is being delivered in three streams:
  • Stream 1: Education and skill building through school-based supports
  • Stream 2: Community resilience building delivered from local hubs, with outreach to smaller communities
  • Stream 3: First Nations children and young people initiatives.

The Youth Participation Fund aims to facilitate social connection, community resilience and build youth leadership, particularly in relation to disaster recovery.

Social Futures is delivering Resilient Kids across the Northern Rivers, with forty applications for grants received from organisations across the region.

Social Futures General Manager of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Simone Silberberg, said there was a wide and impressive range of activities outlined in the applications.

“There were so many worthy programs, and the applications were of a very high standard,” Ms Silberberg said.

“The evaluation panel needed to make some tough decisions and had to reflect on the grant criteria and the needs of the community post-floods. Grants were awarded to a great mix of projects including workshops, overnight camps, surfing, a driving course and more.”

There had been a call for applications from organisations running group activities or programs for:

  • children and young people with disability with a focus on neurodivergent young people and young people with intellectual or cognitive disability,
  • children and young people disengaged from school or education, and
  • non-binary and transgender children and young people.

The successful grant recipients are:

1. Momentum Collective $76,363

Funding will be used to develop and deliver fortnightly workshops to students in the Richmond Valley region focusing on life skills, relationship building, and decision-making related to wellbeing. Partnering with Local Elders, entrepreneurs, community and emergency services, Momentum will deliver the workshops in Term 2, 2024 followed by an exciting community event, aimed at fostering stronger connections.

 

2. Byron Youth Service $77,378

The Village Young Men’s Story Project, is a 36-week program which will support 15 flood-affected young men (12-17 years) in Mullumbimby, who are disengaged from school. Weekly meetings will include interactive activities such as campfire discussions, digital storytelling and bush poetry, fostering conversations on their flood experiences. The project will culminate in the publication of a story book created and led by the participants, and book launch, marking the participants important transition from ‘survivor’ to ‘thriver’.

 

3. Human Nature $87,262

Human Nature will deliver ‘The Empowered Future Camps’ – designed for young people disengaged from education and affected by floods. They will offer four immersive 2-night/3-day experiences for up to 12 participants each, in various outdoor settings across Northern NSW. Young people will learn to make well-informed decisions about their wellbeing, support their peers and boost their confidence in preparation for, and recovery from, natural disasters.

 

4. Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation $87,105

Mudyala will deliver a unique program for Aboriginal youth (8-18 years) in the Lower Clarence region, focusing on those with intellectual or neurological disabilities or those facing social isolation. Mudyala will run small after-school workshops that connect youth with their culture, teach them about nature’s resilience, and promote cultural belonging. By establishing protective factors and building resilience, this program will enhance their ability to make informed wellbeing decisions.

 

5. PCYC Lismore $128,000

PCYC Lismore, in partnership with NSW Police, will deliver five essential community-focused programs over four terms across Lismore, Ballina and Richmond Valley LGAs. The programs are designed to foster community connection, build capacity, and enhance the outcomes for disengaged, vulnerable, at-risk, First Nation youth and young people with disabilities. They include FIT for Change workshops focusing on value-building and employment readiness; FIT for Life fitness sessions to boost confidence; Safe Drivers Course for driving skills enhancement; term-based activity and holiday passes for fun, skill-building activities, and an inclusive All Ability Gymnastics.

 

6. Murwillumbah Community Centre $148,966

The “Mission Possible” project, developed in association with local youth agencies and emergency response organisations, aims to enhance climate disaster readiness and recovery. 15 Diverse Young Leaders (DYL) from the Tweed Shire will take part in the six-part program which includes project planning, staff training, youth engagement, educational workshops, and community outreach. The DYL are equipped with crucial knowledge about climate change impacts, preparedness, and recovery strategies; and are encouraged to design and implement community projects that increase awareness and preparedness, fortifying the entire community against climate disasters.

 

7. Surfing Australia $147,520

The Resilient Teens Project is a transformative 10-month program designed to equip Northern Rivers teens 14 – 18 years old who are disengaged from school and education, with life skills and resilience. The program blends purposeful play and education and includes a four-day immersive camp, including activities like surfing, breathwork, skateboarding, and fitness training under the guidance of seasoned mentors. There will also be daily educational workshops led by industry veterans on mental health, leadership, nutrition, and climate change.

 

8. Queer Family $150,000

Young Queerios: Sprouts at the Queer Family Farmhouse’ in Mullumbimby. This unique program caters to children aged 8-12, creating an environment for them to socialise, form friendships, and engage in uplifting activities. Sprouts aims to improve social and emotional wellbeing, enhance self-esteem, strengthen family ties, and build resilience among young Queer/Trans and Gender Diverse children.


The evaluation panel included three young people who helped to assess the applications, including 15-year-old Aidan Argent, who said young people value being outdoors, connecting with friends, and making new friends, and this was front of mind when they looked at the applications.

“There were a lot of good ideas and that was a really positive thing to see. I am glad I got the opportunity to help make decisions to impact a community I am part of,” Argent said.

Fellow panel member, 21-year-old Ochre Pietens said of the selection panel experience, “It was a great process to be a part of, and I have learned valuable information regarding this Industries’ processes and procedures. It also gave me an opportunity to evaluate the needs and expectations of those in our communities who require support and assistance.”

The evaluation panel also included youth services, flooded-impacted community members and managers from Social Futures and Healthy North Coast.

The diverse range of innovative programs selected for funding through the Resilient Kids Youth Participation Fund reflects a commitment to supporting the holistic recovery and wellbeing of Northern Rivers young people post-floods.

An independent evaluation of the Resilient Kids program is also being delivered with the providers to understand the impact of the program and to build upon emerging outcomes and achievements.

For more detailed project descriptions and contact details for each project, go to: https://socialfutures.org.au/resilient-kids-youth-participation-fund-grant-recipients/