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Enterprise & Training Company (ETC), Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed and Headspace have joined forces to support and develop young people in the local area.

Seeing the benefits that each organisation could deliver, the three community providers have been working together to provide training and employment opportunities and to help tackle mental illness.

Headspace Youth Worker Gary Maher said working with other organisations was essential in supporting young people with mental illness

“Re-engaging young people in training and employment often plays a vital role in their recovery from mental health issues by providing income, security, increased self-esteem, confidence and social opportunities. In turn, we can help support young people whose mental health issues pose a significant barrier to employment,” Gary said.

Coffs Harbour’s Men Shed are also doing their bit for local youth.

“People think of our members as grey haired retired men – but the Men’s Shed is for everyone! We introduce young guys to the shed who can then learn from the older guys,” Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed Manager Robert Houston said.

“We have a couple of guys here who are ex-industrial arts teachers. They set up a simple induction to teach the guys basic tool skills that they can use in their life. We also provide mentoring with woodworking, spray painting and finishing, airbrushing, sanding.”

ETC’s Transition to Work (TtW) Operations Manager Nicky Baade said the Men’s Shed and Headspace played a vital role in the Coffs Harbour community.

“ETC has worked closely with the Men’s Shed on a number of community projects such as the Work for the Dole Program,” Mrs Baade said.

“We have also worked closely with Headspace as part of our Transition to Work (TtW) Program.”

To celebrate the partnership, two of ETC’s TtW Program participants Brodie and Richard donated a much needed resource to Headspace’s new premises in Little Street, Coffs Harbour.

“The guys made four skate board racks at the local Men’s shed as part of our TtW workshop ‘Project Me’. They kept one each for themselves and gave one for our TtW training room. They also wanted to donate one of them to a local community organisation, so we presented this to Headspace,” Mrs Baade said.

Gary at Headspace thanked ETC and the Men’s Shed for the new addition to his facility.

“Lots of people use skateboards as a mode of transport so this will go to great use,” he said.



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