Marist Youth Care has obtained Youth Opportunities funding for its “Healthy Working Lunches and Practical Life Skills” project where young job seekers in the Blacktown area learn essential life skills, such as healthy eating, financial literacy, communication skills, team work, and job readiness.
This unique program engages young disadvantaged job seekers participating in pre-employment training programs in their lunch break. They undertake food preparation, shopping list creation, cleaning and hygiene and prepare a healthy lunch. Participants each lead a group discussion about an important health and lifestyle issue, and actively participate in group discussion while eating their lunch.
Many of the participants have disclosed they had no experience in preparing any food, using kitchen appliances, or sharing a meal as a group with others before participating in the project. This experience is providing participants with critical life skills for their future.
Nine training programs have been delivered. Each program runs each day for between three and five weeks. 92 young people have participated in the program to date. A further 100 young people are expected to participate in the project over the period of the grant.
Adam Makepeace, Senior Manager of Marist Youth Care and his team of specialist staff work closely with the young people to ensure each program reflects individual needs and barriers. Adam said “This program has resulted in substantial improvement in relationships between the young people, a higher level of engagement and higher completion rates of their job readiness program.”
Most importantly young people are developing the ability, skills and confidence to make decisions about how to live a healthy life.