By Donna Shrubsole and the team at Buckingham House
It is important that young people have access to social activities that support them in dealing with mental health issues. Flourish Australia’s Buckingham House service has introduced new groups aimed at young adults on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Saturday group is a recent innovation. Members meet at Buck House at 10AM and then partake of a variety of different outings every week. These outings are currently programmed to end about 3PM.
For the more established Friday young adults group, Buck House has been promoting activities and potential activities such as Hip Hop Exercise, Cultural Cooking lunches, Amy’s Art Attack, and even Hearing Voices meetings.
Young adults need their own space. There was also a need to normalise outings, without having so much distinction between staff and members. So Peer Worker Ciaran first started taking these as he is both a peer and of the same age group. When Ciaran left to work with HASI, Shay took this on for a while, but he is out of the young adults age range, so then we took on a younger worker, Shana, and we have had her facilitating them on Fridays.
The participants have been to The Zoo, Luna Park, Mini Golf, Manly, Wet and Wild, Rock Climbing, Kayaking… there are so many different places and different things to do around Sydney. They all get public transport, buy their own lunch and pay their own way.
“…there are probably a lot of people out there, especially young adults, who would be interested in taking part in some of the activities we are getting together…”
Shay has been instrumental in getting discounts on charges but as long as this doesn’t detract from the fact that it is a normal activity (like having to get all members to show their disability cards etc) we’re okay with that. Shay has also been very passionate about this and has been following up with Head Space, Youth Interagencies and City of Sydney.
The Young Adults Space on a Friday was also something we have been wanting to do for a long time – so while the downstairs area used by Employment Services has been temporarily free we thought we could make good use of it. We are in discussions about more permanent arrangements.
Another exciting thing happening is we have been given a donation to set up a gym! We negotiated with RECLINK to set up a Hip Hop group and Shay has been following up with youth agencies to try to get more people interested in coming.
I guess “Amys Art Attack” is an arresting name for an art group! It came about when I approached Amy and suggested that she might like to facilitate this group. She is a member at Buck House who is also doing fine arts and she is like our resident artist. She has done some great work here.
Cultural Cooking is a group that we have always run on Fridays for a long while now. See the stories on this in previous issues, such as Panorama #65, September 2017.
We wanted to start up a Hearing Voices Group, based on Intervoice Philosophy. Some Panorama Readers might have read about this on the grapevine or on social media through places like the Melissa Roberts foundation or people like Peter Bullimore. So far we have not had enough takers to get it off the ground here.
I know that there are probably a lot of people out there, especially young adults, who would be interested in taking part in some of the activities we are getting together. The problem is getting the message out. I guess many of the people who would benefit are not as connected in terms of social media etc. as most people. We need to find away around that. Perhaps Panorama readers will show some interest and contact us (Hint! Hint!- Editor)
For more on Youth issues, See also ‘YPOP hits the target’ and ‘3 Years after YPOP: a different person’ in Panorma #66, December 2017
Buckingham House, 41-43 Buckingham Street Surry Hills NSW 2010
1300 779 270 or (02) 9393 9240