Students from the Burnett Youth Learning Centre have participated in a Volunteers Expo to kickstart their Certificate II in Active Volunteering within the region.
With assistance through Bundaberg Regional Council's Community Resilience Project, five students were part of the recent expo held at the school on Goodwood Road.
Principal Jenny Lang said the project was an opportunity for students to develop strong relationships and connections to the community.
“We have started running this Certificate for students to see if we can build on resilience in the community of our young people,” she said.
“We have been a school that is known in the community for disengagement so to see our young people growing in their awareness of service and generosity and what it means to give others hope, just as the school has given them hope.
“It is very rewarding to see.”
The Burnett Youth Learning Centre was established by Barry Reynolds who had a vision to help disengaged students and to provide a space for those who were falling behind in mainstream education.
“We continue to stand by that mission and provide an opportunity for learning when other places have not been able to meet that need for them,” Ms Lang said.
Staff at the school are no strangers to volunteer work, with 310 years of experience between them.
Ms Lang said it was this first-hand knowledge that was helping to foster a pathway for students to learn more about active volunteering.
“Even in the conversations we have had with students so far, they are beginning to understand that it is important to give and not just to receive,” she said.
“It has been remarkable to watch.”
As part of the project, students will participate in a range of volunteering opportunities within the community, something that Ms Lang said could not have been made possible without the help of locals.
“I am just overwhelmed by the gratitude from our community to be able to support our young people and to offer hope for these guys to reach out and get some volunteering experience,” she said.
“The chances these students have to participate in something like this is quite limited so I would really love to thank the community for the help.”
Council's Community Resiliency Program offers the opportunity for students to:
- Undertake accredited training in CHC24015 Certificate II in Active Volunteering;
- Develop leadership skills;
- Connect and volunteer with a range of community organisations including emergency services;
- Assist in promoting the personal and professional benefits of volunteering to other young people and the wider community.
The Community Resilience program has been fully funded by the Australian Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.