About us News YEAR IN REVIEW: How we supported young people in 2023 Supporting young people, and creating opportunities for them to participate and thrive, is at the heart of HBNC’s mission to create connected communities. We believe all young people, regardless of their background and circumstances, have a right to achieve their potential. We also believe it’s the whole community’s responsibility to help make this happen. For better or worse, young people in our community have been in the headlines this year. Unfortunately, it has often been for worse. What is often missed in the sea of negative headlines and bad news stories, however, is the tireless efforts of youth workers, volunteers, community groups and young people themselves to turn the tide. As we close out 2023 and reflect on the year that was, it is heartening to remember how much has been achieved to help create opportunities for young people on the Fraser Coast. A new partnership Early in the year, the announcement of a new partnership brought renewed hope and energy to a longstanding, vital service for young people in our community. When it was announced that HBNC’s Youth Mentoring Program would be the charity beneficiary of the Col Pearce Corporate Triathlon, it was a perfect match. This partnership was a natural progression from Tour De Bay, the iconic cycling event that ran for 10 years, raising funds for Youth Mentoring. When it became clear that Tour De Bay needed to evolve, the Tri Club was there to not only provide an event for the cycling and fitness enthusiasts, but to throw their passion for supporting young people behind the cause. The event this year raised about $20,000 for Youth Mentoring, and we look forward to the 2024 event, coming up on April 28th. Save the date! Donate to Youth Mentoring Reports reveal the reality If we as a community want to more effectively empower local youth, we need to clearly know the ‘lay of the land’. In this spirit, two cornerstone reports revealing the challenges facing Fraser Coast youth were released this year. The first was the State of the Youth Report, compiled by HBNC team members using data from a range of local, state and national sources. The report presents some confronting data, which will help HBNC and other community organisations develop appropriate solutions and support networks. This initial report highlights improvements in supporting youth, ongoing and new challenges, gaps in service delivery, as well as what young people believe are solutions and initiatives that HBNC is already delivering or working on. This year also saw the release of the fourth Fraser Coast Youth Survey. Previous Fraser Coast Youth Surveys have helped shape HBNCs approach to youth support services and we now have a number of programs in place that directly respond to the issues raised by the data we have gathered. Innovation starts young An exciting addition to the HBNC roster this year has been the $20 Boss program, delivered through the newly-established Hustle Hub. This program is designed to help young people learn the fundamentals of starting a business or side hustle. Already, children as young as 12 have completed the program and sold their wares at the Food and Groove markets. This initiative centres on the idea that we are never to young to start something big, and program participants have certainly proven this to be true. Programs help find purpose HBNC’s programs directly supporting young people continued to go from strength to strength this year. This included a unique and powerfully effective program, Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL). EFL was introduced to HBNC by Cheri Peters, long-term Reconnect program team member. Cheri has dedicated many years to training the horses who work alongside and support young people in our community. EFL has emerged as a remarkable tool, fostering personal growth, emotional intelligence, and social skills in young individuals, all while forging a unique connection between the participant and their equine partner. Employment readiness programs including Our Voice, LIFT and The Wandering Teapot Social Enterprise, supported through Skilling Queenslanders for Work, continued building job skills in our region’s young people and, in many cases, helping them secure life-changing job opportunities. The staff involved in these programs were instrumental in bringing Bay and Borough Beats events to the community. These youth outreach events, held at local skateparks, have helped foster connection and positivity amongst our community’s young people. Meanwhile, Bub Hub continues to offer a safe and supportive environment for parents 25 years old and younger and also continues to offer the Bub Hub Boutique, in partnership with City Women. This playgroup, in its second year, has continued to grow and welcome new families. It’s no secret our young people face a range of challenges. In many cases, they also bring a desire to change, improve and grow. If you would like to support HBNC in its mission to support young people, why not consider donating to Youth Mentoring or the Hustle Hub? Together, we can make a difference and create opportunities for young people in our community.