Week 2 in Latrobe Valley: Life Skills & Nutrition

Week 2 kicked off last Monday with our young people making "The Deal". The Deal is a basic concept whereby Ladder and YP make a commitment to a shared responsibility toward the achievement of goals of a YP in a program and beyond. Through a list of action statements, Ladder communicates how we propose to support that young person and in turn, how the young person propose to commit to the program. Providing that a young person bring up their end of "The Deal" they can continue to access all aspects of the program including unique experiences and the “Something for Something” concept. This came after researching their Game Plans and deciding on a community project they felt most passionate about. The planning phase has started and the project is very exciting. Watch this space for updates!

After a morning focused on game-plans, the young people spent the afternoon on activities that enabled them to express themselves. The first choice of activity involved letting loose with a paintbrush to design our Latrobe Valley HQ bathroom. The first step to this was covering the wall with tape and then painting over the remainder in bright colours, with the result being a wall full of geometric shapes. We can't wait to rip off the tape and reveal the art which will really bring this space alive.

Those not so interested in painting joined our Development Coach, Virginia, who led a music lesson which included both acoustic guitar and singing. The young people really enjoyed listening to Virginia showing them her musical ability, asking questions and participating. It was an absolute delight!

Tuesday was spent developing our young people's skills around healthy eating, including how to read recipies and cooking on a budget. This was led by our Development Coach, Tanarly, who taught the group how to make Tee’s Taco’s! They were definitely a hit. The young people also learnt a lesson about “earning your meal” with a visit from a smoothie-bike! These hungry youngsters had to cycle their way to a full tummy with the pedal powered smoothie bikes! So much fun and a great way to get the young people tasting this healthy and nutritious treat.

Wednesday allowed our young people to get their hands on some cans of paint and design a wall of Latorbe Valley HQ. A try and test day for us all on the paint can, with everyone in the group putting their own design of their name on the wall! A fun afternoon of painting was had by all – including our Regional Manager!

Thursday morning we focused on Healthy Relationships and Trust Development. It was great timing to open the conversation and this group felt comfortable knowing their own boundaries. Upon completion we discussed the concept of 'winning with grace". The visit to the bowling green allowed the group to come together and enjoy the freedom of all sharing a new activity without expectation of performance. This activity proved a timely bonding session, smiles all round and a reward for the weeks efforts before a big day ahead.

Our week in Latrobe Valley concluded on a high, with 11/11 young people systematically catching the train to Caufield Racecourse for the Careers Expo. An early start did not deter this committed bunch of awesome young people, with the first five meeting at Traralgon and ten minutes later another four jumped aboard in Morwell. Without any absentees so far, the pressure mounted as the train approached Moe for the final two. There they were, ready to go! All eleven young people, not perturbed by the rain – committed to their adventures to the Careers Day together. Minds were extended as our young people openly explored opportunities, adventures, further study, potential career pathways and endless possibilities not previously considered. The week ended with eleven exhausted, but gratefu,l young people embarked on the long trip home on Vline ready for a well deserved restful weekend.

Another week done, more milestones reached, some fantastic learning, the group comradery gaining momentum and trust as each day passes. Smiles from ear to ear and some lovely friendships formed. Who doesn’t love learning whilst having fun all at the same time? The Ladder Step Up Latrobe Valley team are extremely proud of these young people!