yourtown - formerly known as BoysTown - is a non-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged youth by providing them with support in the following areas:
yourtown is one of the biggest and oldest Charity Art Unions in the country. With funds from their lotteries and other sources, yourtown works tirelessly to provide young people with the services they need to help them find employment, learn new skills and live happy, safe and fulfilling lives.
They advocate on behalf of Australia's disadvantaged youth, providing education, counselling, peer support and training for employment. The social welfare services yourtown provides for youth and parents in financial distress help to relieve the disadvantages and difficulties of poverty, illness and misfortune.
The majority of funds for yourtown derive from community support, including from their ever popular prize home and prize car lotteries. The charity holds 15-prize draws every year, including:
The charity also gratefully receives funds from corporate partners, bequests, workplace giving, donations and other fundraising activities.
yourtown give the greatest proportion of their resources to their counselling services. This includes the Kids Helpline and Parentline services, and face-to-face counselling. Next to receive resources are all the employment services of the organisation, then education and work transition. Their social enterprises come next, then their refuges, community programs, clinical supervision, parenting programs and Tjurabalan program.
yourtown provides several counselling and other support services for youth and their families that include:
yourtown offer professional help and support to the Australian community. Their counselling support services are staffed by experienced counsellors with tertiary qualifications. The range of counselling service available - from phone to face-to-face interaction with a professional counsellor - aims to achieve the best outcomes for those in need. Along with young people, families can participate in a number of individual education gatherings, workshops and activities to help them lead a happier life. The topics in such meetings can involve different subjects, such as alcohol, drug dependency, cookery and hygiene.
yourtown offers young people of today a range of education and training programs. With these programs young people are better equipped to overcome any barriers to education and employment. Various training in learning skills and life skills, as well as youth worker support programs, help young people achieve their dreams of ongoing employment and personal growth and development.
With their Employment Service, yourtown provide free recruitment and job placement for both job seekers and employers. Through their Employment Enterprises, disadvantaged youth are provided with real and paid work. This includes an initial on-the-job training period and employment, leading on to open employment. The Employability Skills programs help with skills development. Then there's their School to Work Transitioning for any young people who have been away from the school environment. And their Vocational Training program, offering accredited and non-accredited training. Their Vocational and Training Employment Centre provides training, mentoring and job placement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
yourtown recognises that parenting can be difficult. The challenges of supporting growing and developing children can often take parents unprepared. That's when being able to talk with someone professionally qualified to help with issues enables parents to gain insight into the situation and knowledge about how to proceed personally and access the support services available.
The charity also provides counselling for children, to help them directly. By helping children better connect with their parents and carers, this counselling can help them know that they are supported, and can grow and develop in a safe and caring environment.
yourtown's community engagement and development includes services such as their Communities for Children (CFC), an early intervention and prevention program for families and children facing disadvantage. Their Starfish Program offers family metal health support for those at risk of development or being affected by mental illness. The Indigenous in Focus Programs assist indigenous youth and families in their communities. And their Tapped In! project helps to bring about alcohol harm minimisation, and provide education about the risks associated with drinking alcohol.
yourtown is committed to building partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities. yourtown work to achieve partnerships founded on respect, cultural awareness, the right to self-determination. In creating programs, yourtown recognise and understand the different ways Indigenous people interact with family and kin.
Their programs include the Indigenous Youth Careers Pathways Program (IYPC). The program aims to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students finish their high school education, and then help them with the transition into work. There's also the Sustainable Communities Program, providing services to Balgo in the Tjurabalan region of Western Australia.
yourtown provide refuges and accommodation for those dealing with homelessness or domestic violence, or both.
When fleeing situations of abuse and violence, women and children are often left without a home, income and support. youtown's family violence refuge provides shelter to these women and children, with temporary accommodation as well as support.
In addition, families facing or dealing with homelessness can find short-term accommodation and support at yourtown's San Miguel Family Centre. The issue of family homelessness is the fastest growing issue in Australia. The work the Family Centre does is central to helping yourtown help families who are in dire need.?
250,000 people - children, young people and families - contact yourtown every year.
To give you just some idea of how many people this great charity reaches out to and supports:
yourtown operate out of 41 centres in 24 locations around Australia. The yourtown team includes over 600 staff and volunteers, including counsellors, youth workers, Indigenous mentors, tradespeople and vocational trainers, employment consultants, community development workers, human resource advisors, marketing, fundraising and media advisors, researchers and accountants.
Buy purchasing a ticket in the yourtown Art Union draws, you help yourtown provide a brighter future for young people and their families who are facing circumstances of disadvantage and disconnection.
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