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Albany Men’s Shed, Bunnings rally behind local youth with drop-in centre donations

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Albany Youth Support Association members with outreach services manager Chrystie Flint, youth worker Tosh Wigley, Albany Men’s Shed secretary Lindsay Campbell, president Gary Duncan, Bunnings Albany activities/community organiser Lisa and AYSA chief executive Ian Clarke.
Camera IconAlbany Youth Support Association members with outreach services manager Chrystie Flint, youth worker Tosh Wigley, Albany Men’s Shed secretary Lindsay Campbell, president Gary Duncan, Bunnings Albany activities/community organiser Lisa and AYSA chief executive Ian Clarke. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Albany Youth Support Association has been given some early Christmas presents from Albany Men’s Shed and Bunnings as it prepares to support more local youth at its drop-in centre this summer.

AYSA has opened the doors of its Sanford Road hub as a drop-in centre where young people can relax and find support if they are doing it tough.

Albany Men’s Shed recently donated a handmade wooden picnic table to the centre, marking the start of a new partnership between the two community organisations.

AMS are set to share its skills with AYSA’s clients, helping them with projects such as a sustainable vegetable garden.

AYSA chief executive Ian Clarke said working with the Albany Men’s Shed would bridge the gap between generations.

“It means the young people at the refuge will go out and interact with the older guys and the conversations between the two, we think, will be really productive,” he said.

“They both get benefit from it and certainly long-term I would like to see young people doing a bit more with their senior members of the community and recognising that they are a huge treasure that we have and we should be doing everything we can to continue to interact with them, and value all their experience and knowledge.”

Albany Men’s Shed secretary Lindsay Campbell said they hoped to help build compost bins, vertical gardens and help young people with bike maintenance.

“The longer term aim is to try to develop a mentoring relationship between some of our members who have an incredibly long history of work and contribution to the community over the years,” he said.

“If we can impart those values to our young people then we think that is going to be a good thing.”

A barbecue donated by Albany Bunnings will help AYSA provide food at the drop-in centre, which is bracing for an increase in demand over the summer holidays.

The AYSA drop-in centre on Sanford Road is open Monday to Thursday from midday until 6pm.

Mr Clarke said the organisation was looking at building capacity in the new year after an “overwhelming” response.

“We have had a very steady build up of young people coming here and it definitely demonstrates the absolute need for it,” he said.

“The staff here are fantastic and they work really closely with the young people and when there is somebody that needs that additional support they are able to take them away from the crowd and into a quiet place and talk to them.”

The AYSA Young House refuge is open 24/7. For help, call 9842 2082.

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