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New home for Y Ballarat Youth Team

February 22, 2024 Young People

The Y Ballarat’s expanding Youth Team have relocated to a new space in Barkly Square, Ballarat.

Only a flight of stairs from the team’s former base, The Loft is a flexible and welcoming environment, developed in conjunction with young people to be youth friendly and enhance opportunities for creativity and collaboration.

In addition to providing desk space for the administrative aspects of programming, it has also been designed as a central location for the team to host meetings, hold informal partnership activities, and act as a venue for low-key events.

From The Loft, the Youth Team coordinates and delivers a range of programs for young people in the Ballarat and wider area. Programs include Jump Start, our youth engagement automotive program; the life skills program – Things No One Told You; Diversity and Inclusion programs for Young LGBTQIA+ community members; Pride in Schools, the ReCranked and ReCranked in Schools programs and activities at The Grove.

The Grove, located in Wendouree, is our drop-in youth space in Ballarat, providing a safe and fun environment where young people can hang out, spend time with friends and participate in fun activities.

The move to The Loft was marked by a relaxed opening on Wednesday 21 February, 2024, with representatives from other youth and community organisations in attendance, along with Y Ballarat staff and the Y’s Youth Action and Advisory Group (YAAG).

The YAAG was instrumental in guiding the creation of The Loft and continues to contribute to the ongoing evolution. At the opening, YAAG member Poppy, thanked the Y for creating a designated space for youth groups to be supported and grow in the local community.

Elaborating on their future plans, she said, “In the coming weeks we hope to enrich this space with a greater array of colours and elements – to give this place its own identity”.

Dee Wright, Youth Services Trainee, who supports Jump Start and a number of other youth programs, is enjoying working from The Loft. “We’re an enthusiastic group of workers who want to provide young people with the best chance of growth and sustainability,” she said.  “We’ve aimed for a casual, cool vibe, with lounge spaces and a kitchenette. We’ve also added artwork created by young people and lots of plants, alongside the practical elements such as whiteboards and a projector.”

Kate Clarke, Youth Impact Facilitator shared, “As a team, we’re striving to create an approachable, vibrant and youth-friendly workspace where our young people and volunteers feel comfortable to be their full authentic selves.”

The Y acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and future.

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