With the Central Coast plunged into Covid lockdown, the Y NSW is staying committed to connection, offering online opportunities to promote active wellness at home for the young and the young at heart.
The not-for-profit is providing virtual fitness resources for the whole community, while also activating key youth and wellbeing programs including Uplift and Y Spaces online.
Y NSW CEO, Susannah Le Bron, said the organisation was focused on ensuring that the benefits of connection at the Ys across the state are accessible when needed most.
“We know that there is a deep connection between physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, and just how important social connection is to everyone in NSW.
“We may have to close our doors as we get through the latest outbreak of COVID-19, but we’re still open to connect with our community through a chat, an online workout, or free resources to help you prioritise wellness during this time,” Le Bron said.
Whether young people are impacted by the lockdown, or isolating elsewhere in NSW, Y NSW Executive Leader of Youth and Community, Louisa McKay, said it was vital that channels remained open for them to be heard and supported.
“We know that young people are disproportionately impacted by lockdowns in terms of the disruption to casual work and education.
“Concerningly, more than 70 percent of young people surveyed by Headspace reported that their mental health has deteriorated since the first outbreak of the pandemic.
“Young people are often the last to put their hand up for health, so ensuring we are visible and here for them when we can’t meet up face-to-face is critical,” McKay said.
The Y is open to connect with young people through a range of online sessions.
One program offered by The Y NSW is Call A Youth Worker, running from Monday to Thursday from 11am-3pm.
The Y NSW’s Central Coast Co-ordinator and Youth Worker, Virginia Walshaw, says the Call A Youthworker is a free service that aims to connect young people on the Coast to services and provide them with information on what is going on in their community.
“Since this service launched in April 2020, we’ve had 57 young people call over 106 sessions to talk about a range of things like problems at home, or even just to vent about their frustrations.
“We also aim to connect young people with other services through soft referrals like encouraging people to attend one of our workshops or hard referrals like referring individuals to other services directly.
“I believe the young people of the Coast are exhausted with these lockdowns, and they just want some continuity.
“It’s an informal service, where people can send us an email or direct message us on social media or just call us.
“We’re not a crisis hotline or a counselling service, but we can direct you to other services and be a place for you to vent your frustrations,” Walshaw said.
This service is for young people aged 12-25, but parents of people in this age group are also encouraged to call for advice.
The Y NSW is also rolling out many of its community programs out into the workplace.
With more than 43 percent of the Y NSW’s workforce aged 25 or under, the charity is implementing daily wellbeing huddle meetings, and providing its physical and mental wellness content to staff.
With 12 Y NSW run recreation centres currently closed, the Y is urging the community to stay active.
Y NSW CEO, Susannah Le Bron, said exercise was a powerful tool when you’re stuck in a rut, feeling isolated or anxious.
“We know that exercise helps to clear the mind, improves sleep, mood and concentration.
“With new and critical information flooding our brains every day, the Y is urging the community to take extra care of your body through this period of isolation.
“We are experts in helping people from all walks of life tap into the power of exercise and while we can’t do that face-to-face, you can get your Y fix when it suits you online for free,” Le Bron said.
The Y at Home offers home workouts, tips, recipes, wellness strategies and fun activities for the entire family at no cost to the community.