I am sure your inboxes have been inundated with information about COVID-19 and, in these uncertain times, I wanted to reach out with a message from Youth Opportunities to offer some certainty.
Working primarily in the school system means we are diligently staying abreast of, and responding to all government advice to ensure community health, while also innovating so that we can continue serving young people in our community. As always, young people are at the heart of everything that we do, and every decision that we make in response to this current challenge will be with their best interests in mind, while ensuring public health.
Supporting our young people
We know our young people will be suffering now more than ever, and that weighs heavily on us, as I’m sure it does on you. We can thank our lucky stars over the past few years, our founder, Peter Marshman, our Board and my predecessor Peter Carey have tirelessly invested in adaptive online versions of our programs. This back-bone is enabling us to pivot quickly and maintain a level of safe service delivery through these challenging times.
Sadly, we have had to cancel our Term 1 graduation events. We do look forward to sharing the impact of the program for our Term 1 graduates with our supporters through other means, so stay tuned!
Leading into Term 2, we are speaking with our school partners to explore how we can deliver programs to meet their needs through technology, and establishing a virtual classroom should school closures require an online response. Our Thrive Online program, blended with our face-to-face model of delivery, allows great flexibility which will see students access learning with trainer facilitation and 1-1 coaching interviews from school or from home.
Supporting our staff
I am incredibly proud of how our own team at Youth Opportunities are being proactive in managing this new situation – adhering to physical distancing, embracing the use of technology in place of face to face meetings, and working collaboratively as we problem solve together to deliver our programs and services in innovative ways. With your support, we will surv-thrive this challenge, because of the passion and expertise of our amazing team.
Supporting you, our partners in the community
We know that nothing we achieve at Youth Opportunities would be possible without the incredible support of people like you, and in times like this, when there is so much uncertainty, we really are grateful to have such a strong community surrounding us and there to help us.
To ensure the health of our community and supporters, we are conducting all meetings via phone or video conference. And, while we love having visitors come to the office, we are asking that unless necessary, you delay your visit, or reach out to us via phone or video conference.
Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing information on how to look after your wellbeing and the wellbeing of young people in your life during this troubling time. We also intend to keep you updated on any changes at Youth Opportunities moving forwards. In the interim, please do reach out if you have any questions or ideas on how we may be able to support our community together.
Your support of Youth Opportunities
It’s so important to us we demonstrate our gratitude to our supporters, and help you share in the outcomes and successes that we just couldn’t have without you. With this in mind, we look forward to sharing more details of our Term 1 ‘virtual’ graduations and launch of our 2019 annual report in coming weeks.
Unfortunately, due to the most recent announcement from government regarding events of more than 100 people, we have had to postpone our Youth Opportunities Golf Day. This was a very difficult decision as the financial effect of this on our organisation is a concern.
Without a doubt, this year is going to be a challenging one for our organisation, and your ongoing support will be vital to us in ensuring that at this time, when young people are facing increased levels of anxiety and concerns for their future, we can continue to support them by creating opportunities for them to develop the lifelong skills, habits and confidence to thrive.
I know that united we will weather this new ‘normal’ and I appreciate all that you have done and continue to do to make our work possible.
Erin Faehrmann, Chief Executive