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During the 2022-23 year, we were successful in securing a grant through the Premier’s Fund for Children and Young People.

We used this grant to fund our Branching Out project, for young people to reach their full potential by participating in opportunities; building skills and social connections within community; and building self-esteem and positive self-identity.

Having friends and family members that are safe and caring is something many of us take for granted. This connection and belonging are crucial yet often absent for young people with histories of complex trauma.

Opportunities for meaningful engagement and connection with their peers, workers, and communities allows young people to feel seen, included, connected, and cared for.

Branching Out has allowed us to offer this sense of connection and belonging to some of the most amazing yet least supported young Tasmanians. We often hear from our young people that they feel neglected, abandoned and dismissed by society, that they do not have adequate access to necessities that most take for granted let alone ‘luxuries’ like driving lessons, board games, and gym memberships. This fund has allowed us to help them move beyond survival and focus on thriving, to feel that they are a part of their community, to know they are valued, cared for and deserving of opportunities, and that they can and should have big dreams for their futures.

Branching Out provided support to young people in our college units and our youth accommodation services to participate in activities such as bowling, movies, go-karting, Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, visiting Port Arthur, the provision of vouchers for driving lessons and other items.

It has also allowed for onsite art workshops with CreateCrew. Participants noted that these workshops are particularly inspiring as Joel talks about having a similar history and finding a positive outlet (art) for himself which changed his trajectory.

We’re profoundly grateful to this fund for giving our young people the opportunities to enjoy things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

I love books and reading. Can’t wait to get to Big W to buy some books (what a treat, I never have spare money), once I have read them, I will pass on to my friends to read too, thank you.

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