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Canberra Today 5°/9° | Saturday, September 18, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Students unite in the garden

A community garden project in Belconnen was bringing young people together just before the virus crisis.

ALTHOUGH youth week has been postponed because of the coronavirus crisis, a community garden project for youth is celebrating an initiative that was started earlier in the year, which will continue when it’s safe to do so. 

The project, a community garden project in Belconnen, has been uniting primary school students with year nine peer leaders in a bid to make them feel more connected and supported when they transition into high school.

It has since been put on hold because of COVID-19 but the initiative called West Belconnen Community Garden and Transitions Project, which is funded through the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Local Drug Action Team Program, saw students team up to design, develop and maintain a community garden in Charnwood.

“It was a huge effort to pull this together, but we saw the value it could bring to the students, not just as they transitioned to high school, but in developing skills and giving them a way to engage with the broader community in the future,” says Daniel Gaffney, the acting programs manager of Belconnen Community Service, which has partnered with the program.

He says the year nine peer leaders taking part in the program, participated in training with Menslink last year in preparation for the project, too.

“It’s been fantastic to see the way the peer leaders embraced the opportunity to get trained and support their fellow students,” Mr Gaffney says.

All the organisers who have put this project together are keen to see it running again as soon as it’s safe to.

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