Community care on wheels
5 November 2012
Lake Macquarie Youth Worker of the Year James Cameron says he is “privileged” to work with the community to help provide skills and confidence to young people in need.
James runs the Ourspace Outreach and Training Program, the latest innovation from the Oasis Hunter (NSW) Youth Network, which seeks to support disadvantaged and isolated young people and their families.
The new mobile classroom, a joint venture between The Salvation Army and the NSW Department of Education and Training, features a Mitsubishi Fuso Deluxe bus that has been fitted with desks, laptops and high-speed internet. The service offers nationally accredited Certificate II training in Information Technology, Hospitality or Asset Maintenance.
“We also offer community activities,” James says. “This allows us to become an integral part of the early intervention strategy for young people in collaboration with the Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie city councils.”
The bus is also being used to partner with local schools to run such services as workshops to raise awareness of the issues around cyber-bullying and the dangers of internet use.
Staff and volunteers are also supporting grandparents who are “parenting” grandchildren, to help them understand the social media these youngsters may be using.
“We developed the Grandparents Support Program [GSP] because it is about not just being able to get out and support young people, but also being able to support the people who support young people,” James explains.
James was announced as the youth worker of the year at the recent Regional Youth Development Officer Network Conference.