[Sub ID 4605] Red Cross Internet Café Peer Support (Australian Red Cross)

Submission ID: 4605
Organisation name: Australian Red Cross
Contact name: Mrs Rebecca Cunningham
State: SA
Contact email: recunningham@redcross.org.au
Contact number: 86338100

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Breaking the cycle of long term unemployment and/or welfare dependency.
Port Pirie is approximately 200km North of Adelaide with a population of approximately 14, 500 people. Port Pirie has an unemployment rate of 12.9%. Unemployment has risen from 5% to 12.9% in the last 5 years. There are over 4000 people on Centrelink payments and of the population that is unemployed, 5000 of them are between the ages of 15 and 34.
This idea is aimed to get young people actively participating in the community who may be at risk of falling out of education or training due to difficulties at home due to an unstable home life, no internet access, no study space or lack of support and/or transport.
Ultimately the aim is to maintain and increase engagement with education and training facilities and introduce young people to other resources and opportunities within the Port Pirie Region.

What is your idea?
Offer a culturally safe, agile and flexible support program and venue where young people of all walks of life feel safe and included. The service will be a voluntary service where peer mentoring will be available to assist young people who are struggling with study due to differing reasons. The Red Cross space will offer an alternative to troubled home lives, busy public spaces and the computer rooms of educational institutions. Red Cross will introduce the young people to a learning culture and support flexible learning options using current Red Cross resources. Red Cross will help create a support network/group for students to link together and support each other. This will be initiated by Red Cross staff & volunteers with a vision of it becoming self-organised by the individuals in the group. Red Cross can offer volunteering opportunities to students to keep them engaged while they are studying – this will provide them with enhanced employability skills and a valued role in society. Red Cross can also support students through other issues impacting their study such as mental health, drug and alcohol, social isolation and/or exclusion. There will be assistance offered with IT, cover letter writing, resume writing, interview preparation etc.
Transport can also be offered to students to get them to placements, exams or other important appointments that relate to their study and being able to remain studying/volunteering or working.
This service is very different to Job Service Providers and Employment Agencies as this is a peer mentoring program that will support students to do as well as they can within their own personal circumstances.