Re-Purpose: An inspirational opportunity for local youth to upskill and upcycle
Uncertainty about the future is a real concern for youth in our area. Further to research, including comprehensive community surveys, Byron Youth Service has found that 42% of young people fear that their long term career goals will not come to fruition. Moreover, the number of youth impacted by mental health disorders doubled during the pandemic.
Re-Purpose – an NRCF community grant funded project – offered the opportunity for young people to work with local mentors in three different small builds. Each
build was to upcycle materials otherwise destined for landfill or the tip shop.
The Three Projects:
The Deck – Three young people will learn basic carpentry skills as they will be guided to build a new deck area around ‘Our Shed’ to maximise its use as a learning and workshops space.
The Byron Bike – Five young people will learn basic mechanical skills and how to repair and restore a motorcycle.
The Pizza Oven – Five young people will learn the basic skills of bricklaying and concreting; working under the guidance of tradespeople to build a woodfired pizza oven.
The young people chosen for this project were from around the Northern Rivers and aged between 14 and 20 years old. They are living with significant educational/employment disadvantage and struggle to keep pace with their peers. It was hoped that by participating in this project it would not only build self-esteem and a sense of self-worth but also strengthen potential pathways to employment.
Re-Purpose delivered activities that empowered the young people at the same time contributing to community assets at the Youth Activity Centre (YAC). The Deck and the pizza oven are being used as both engagement and educational tools.
The greatest benefit of the project had to be the connections made between the tradespeople and the participants, a number of whom went on to obtain work as a result of their active engagement with the specific project.