Community health provider cohealth is bringing young people together for Sunday afternoon sport at the Fitzroy and Collingwood public housing high-rises.
The Active Community program is a ten-week program run by cohealth’s Community Connectors, a team of local public housing residents who utilise their connections within their communities to deliver health promotion, events and information.
Through the Active Community program, residents from the Fitzroy and Collingwood communities come together to play organised games of basketball and soccer and enjoy snacks together at the end of the game.
Currently, the program is attracting more than 25 young people each session, with a variety of age groups.
At Fitzroy, there are often younger children involved, starting from around eight years old. In Collingwood, participants are generally older, around 16 – 20 years of age.
One of the most important things about this program, says Community Connector Malik Abdurahman, is that it is owned by the community. The young people organise the afternoons themselves, with many of their parents getting involved in coaching roles.
“From managing the online recruitment forms to getting the equipment ready and set up, we want this to belong to the young people,” he says. “It’s fantastic to see so many parents involved too, it’s a great way for them to be spending time with their children.”
After a game, program facilitators chat to young people and provide them with information about upcoming health programs and job opportunities, while linking them to other youth-focussed services.
At the core of all Community Connectors programs are the values of empowerment and connection, says Program Facilitator Gurjot Kaur.
“People connect to their communities through these programs, and they are empowered through access to health information and employment pathways.”
Malik says that he has been pleased with how young people have taken to the Active Community program so far.
“It’s a good vibe and they’re enjoying it. What I’m really impressed with is the community bonding it creates.”
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cohealth is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit community health organisation that strives to improve health and wellbeing for all. cohealth provides universal access to services as well as targeted programs and assertive models to address the health disparities experienced by disadvantaged groups. cohealth offers a broad range of high quality, integrated health and support services, including medical, oral, pharmacy, mental health and drug and alcohol services.
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