Late last year we were delighted to see the opening of a new project that provides studios for six young people, giving them a stable home, ongoing support and guidance, and a communal living experience for up to three years.
Delivered in partnership with Kids Under Cover, Village 21 is designed to reduce the challenges young people leaving care often face and was developed in response to this cohort’s unique needs.
This innovative village environment will assist in creating strong connections back to the community and teach skills in self-sufficiency. Six young people aged 18-21 and two professional mentors will reside on-site, with regular visits by AV staff with expertise in employment and study pathways. Village 21 will support communal activities such as cooking, maintaining shared gardens and learning life skills.
Staff and partners alike are excited about significantly improving the lives of the young in this special project. There is already a healthy dynamic between the young people and mentors, with an open flow of communication which has assisted in the development of positive relationships amongst the group. Weekly group dinners are occurring involving the key practitioner, mentors and tenants, who are all involved in the preparation and cooking of the meals.
All of the current residents are linking in with some form of training/apprenticeship and one young person was recently offered a job. One more resident will move in the next week, with a final spot likely to be filled soon after. Ethics approval has also been obtained for Swinburne University to conduct the evaluation of the model.