Diverse enrichment and engagement activities in Seymour
Our Place is supporting local families to access free and diverse enrichment and engagement activities in Seymour, including a skateboarding program and a youth group.
Consultation with the community and service providers during the implementation phase of the Our Place approach identified engagement and enrichment activities for children as a priority area within Seymour.
We heard from the Seymour community that barriers to participation in local activities included financial constraints and perceived barriers such as not feeling welcome. Geographical challenges were also identified due to public transport and having to travel outside of Seymour to access opportunities. Children and families were also seeking more diverse opportunities to traditional offerings such as football and netball.
When an Our Place Community Facilitator attended a local network meeting and met a community member who delivered and ran a youth group and skateboarding program in Seymour, our role as the glue came into play. Our Place discovered that this group is open to children of all ages, interests, skill levels and abilities and anyone who wants to meet people and be involved in the local community.
It became apparent to Our Place that this program was more than just skateboarding as it also offered a range of diverse opportunities such as community building activities, positive mentoring, pathway training and support and art and design workshops. This program also aims to inspire and guide young people through creativity, individuality, and positive community engagement by teaching life-long skills.
All these learnings led to Our Place identifying an alignment between this program and the needs identified from community consultation. Due to this alignment, Our Place then assisted in promoting and notifying families and on site partners about this program. Engagement levels in the program are incredibly high, with a large number of children at each session. Sessions are offered three times per week, after school and on weekends. There is female only, beginner and open sessions available. These offerings have also provided volunteering opportunities for parents.
Discussions are currently occurring between Our Place and the youth group regarding enrichment and engagement activities being offered on site at the Seymour Family and Children’s Centre in 2022. These will be a great addition to the site for Seymour families and children and will be provided free of charge and operate after school and during school holidays.
Engagement and enrichment activities for children is one of the five evidence-based Elements central to the Our Place approach. Our Place provides children and families with opportunities to nurture their interests and experience success and promotes a sense of pride, belonging and community among families. The key features of this element are:
- All children are provided with affordable before/after school recreation activities, including opportunities for physical activities.
- All children are provided with opportunities to engage in special interest activities (cooking, music, homework clubs, sport, art and craft activities) outside of school hours.