Youthlink Adventure & Recreation Services

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Youthlink Adventure and Recreation Services (YARS) provides recreational and adventure therapy programs for at-risk young people aged 12-25 with depression, anxiety, defiant behaviour, attention deficits, family conflict, negative peer relationships, drug and/or alcohol abuse, disengagement from education and the wider community. 

YARS is designed to provide meaningful and effective experiences for young people through the use of the outdoors. The program places a strong emphasis on transferring the lessons and skills learned in the program setting and applying them to daily life. 

Adventure based programmes challenge all participants on their leadership, conflict management skills, ability to work effectively with others and feedback skills.  Being active in the outdoors provides an enriched program where current life choices and consequences are explored and future directions are discovered. 

Participants in YARS programs are introduced to activities such as canyoning, abseiling, rock climbing, canoeing, bushwalking, bush camping, high and low ropes, raft building.  

YARS programs can be tailored to suit the needs of different organisations.

YARS is grateful for generous sponsors and supporters of our programs.  Some information and feedback following sponsorship follows:

Evolhope Foundation generously supported YARS with funding to run 6 programs in 2017. Their generous support and the partnership with Doonside High School led to a successful program. Below is a testimonial from a Doonside High School Teacher:

“Hey YARS,

Thank you so much for running this program with our girls’ pride group. I know at times it was difficult to work around some of our school policies, however, you both were extremely understanding and worked to the best of your ability to ensure the girls had every opportunity to fully engage with this program.

You both did amazing work and we are really appreciative having had this experience for our students. Your relationship with the girls, professionalism and your dedication to helping them achieve the outcomes was evident and amazing! Thank you.

I do believe this program achieved the desired outcomes. Things that were noticeably improved were resilience, confidence, awareness of abilities, motivation, team work, personal development and improved social skills. The girls really came together as a team and enhanced their self-esteem, they started spending time together outside of our program and were helping each other when needed.

The organisation of this program was fantastic.

Thank you again for all your hard work, this is a great program!

Regards,
Doonside Technology High School Teacher”

We want to recognise and show our appreciation to the Local Government who supported us with funding to run an Adventure Therapy program for a group of students from Warakirri College in 2017. Here is a testimonial from the participating student’s year advisor:

“I believe the students achieved the desired outcomes including Building confidence, Increased motivation, Team work, Re-engaged with school, Improved social skills and decreased truancy rates.

Students would come to school early just to go to the program, or students who we didn’t see for a day or two, would be there in the morning waiting for YARS staff to arrive.

I feel like from the start of the program to the end of the program, even though changes are so hard to be made in our students, and they generally take a lot of time, I think this program made some great progress. The staff at Warakirri noticed the change and we appreciate all the good work you guys do. Thank you!”

YARS ran a canoeing day with a group of clients from the FYRST program with the goal of clients having the opportunity to make new friends, bond with their caseworkers and try a new healthy activity. Below is a testimonial of a FYRST staff member and their client. The clients names have been replaced with different names for client confidentiality.

“Thanks again for such a great day out! We really had a ball. On the way back to our offices, Sal and Peter raved on about their day. Peter said "I met some really cool people…. good people". 

Looking forward to the next one :) 

Kind regards,

AOD Case Manager

FYRST South West Sydney”