Youth Hangout For All

July 29, 2015

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There is a new place in Millgrove for outer region youth to hang out every second Friday night. An initiative of Interchange’s ACTIV8 program, Youth Hangout (YHO) is proving to be a model of how true integration can work in the community. While youth with disabilities are embraced, YHO’s focus is to provide a space where all youth can get together for a few hours of fun and friendship.

The last fortnight’s Youth Hangout really demonstrated what the program is all about and how well it is working. A few members of the region’s youth theatre group, the MISFITS, showed up at the Millgrove space and started a game of Ultimate Frizbee in the next door hall.  Several of the Youth Hangout guys wanted to go join in too and the guys playing really welcomed them in with open arms. Everyone had a go, no one was very good, YHO guys and MISFIT’s were laughing at themselves. A couple of parents who saw what was going on became quite overwhelmed saying they had never seen their young adults being included and looking so comfortable and happy. There was a bit of time at the end of the YHO session where the groups merged and everywhere I looked there was a mix of people all interacting and having a great time.

It was exactly what I always wanted YHO to be. People hanging out, having fun, being themselves.

To get involved in YHO email activ8@ioe.org.au – running on Friday July 31, August 14, August 28, and September 11 for this term.

by Sarah Ward

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