New strategy by young people for young people

Three young people at a skate park, wearing helmets and holding up their skateboards

Kingston’s young people will be better supported, celebrated, connected, and prepared for their next stages of life thanks to Kingston Youth Service’s new action plan.

Young people played a key role in the creation of the new Kingston Youth Strategy, which will guide a range of programs and services over the next four years to support young people aged 12-25.

Kingston Mayor Hadi Saab said young people made up approximately 15% of Kingston’s residents, and meeting their needs is a key priority for Council.

“We want to make sure our young people feel supported and acknowledged as they move from being a teenager into adulthood,” Cr Saab said.

“Young people have told us they want greater focus on issues including mental health, body image, positive self-esteem and confidence, and relationships.

“I encourage all young people to check out the huge range on offer at Kingston Youth Services, including fun activities, job advice, support groups, life skills and professional support.”

From the many youth voices who shared their ideas and opinions, common themes emerged. These themes were reinforced in the views shared by parents/carers and representatives of our schools and youth services organisations.

The four priority areas we need to address are:

Priority 1: Kingston’s young people are supported

Feeling supported is integral to good physical and mental health, youth resilience and a quality life. We want to create an environment where young people, parents and carers can readily access quality mental health support and resources, as well as reputable youth services and information when needed.

Priority 2: Kingston’s young people are acknowledged

When we asked educators and service providers about what is great about young people in Kingston, they told us that they are “creative, resilient, adaptable, enthusiastic, and kind”. We want to create an environment where young people feel welcome and their individuality and contributions are acknowledged, valued, and celebrated.

Priority 3: Kingston’s young people are connected

We want to create an environment where young people feel safe, engaged and heard. Being connected and having a sense of belonging is important to overall resilience, mental health, and wellbeing.

Priority 4: Kingston’s young people are prepared

Many young people told us they feel unsure about the future which can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress. We want to create an environment where young people feel optimistic, hopeful, and confident to take the next step and understand what that might look like.

Before being elected to Council, Councillors David Eden and Georgina Oxley were both actively involved as teenagers, taking part in the Kingston Youth Advisory Committee and other activities.

Sandpiper Ward Councillor David Eden said Council looks forward to working closely with Kingston’s Youth to ensure Kingston can better engage, represent, and assist our youth to thrive in their endeavours.

“We are always very open to suggestions from our youth on how we can better address the emerging needs of our local community,” Cr Eden said.

Longbeach Ward Councillor Georgina Oxley said the development of the strategy was a great example of strong community consultation leading to a really positive outcome.

“Thank you to all of our young people across Kingston who contributed to the development of this strategy that truly is by young people, for young people.”

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.