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This month, Youth Connect Coordinator Jessica Kain shares a story of one of her young members, Jess.
Jess was about to leave school and wanted to find an activity to meet new people and try something new.
Jess identified knitting as one of her interests, and shared her passion for helping people, so we researched and found a volunteering position at a knitting group in an Aged Care Home. Jess went in once a fortnight to knit rugs for hospitalised children with the residents.
After some time, the group stopped meeting, so we got back to planning and found a knitting group that met at Jess’s local library. Jess has never been confident on public transport or crossing roads because of her Cerebral Palsy and she wasn’t quite sure if she could do it alone. Jess’ confidence began to grow as they practiced crossing the road regularly and started catching the bus to the library every fortnight. They also talked about other things Jess would be able to do if she overcame this barrier. After several weeks Jess asked to go on the bus and cross the road alone - it was the first time she had done either. Two weeks later her Youth Development Officer stopped going to the knitting group altogether.
Since then, Jess has rearranged her work schedule to be able to attend the group every week. Sometimes she meets friends afterwards to go out for lunch, something she could never have done when she relied on others so heavily. Jess is also hoping to start going to the Spotlight knitting parties with the other members of her knitting group. She now has the confidence to attend activities alone, the skills to catch public transport independently and more people in her life that she shares interests with.