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Devonport City Council’s Square Peg Project provides engagement and education sessions and opportunities in the wellbeing space for young people living in the wider Devonport area.
Partnering with the Department of Education through their SPACE for Learning Program, Devonport City Council is delivering a program of health and wellbeing for young people from Devonport High, Reece High, Ulverstone High, Sheffield High and Latrobe High.
The program focuses on the development of shopping skills, recipe creation, preparation and cooking food for the students and their families to enjoy, as well as the opportunity to participate in recreation activities to help manage anxiety and/or social issues.
Once the Square Peg program became more advanced, students started to research suitable foods for afternoon teas for Council’s seniors’ program and then prepared food including dips, fruit salad and healthy slices. The benefits have been outstanding for both programs with very positive feedback received by participants of the seniors’ program and the student attendees and their families.
Participants also developed the idea to assist drought-stricken farmers with a ‘Parma for a Farmer’ day which was an unexpected outcome of the program and well received by Council staff. The activity raised $235 to go towards the drought appeal.
Pleasingly, all participants of the Square Peg program have either progressed to Don College or gained employment.
At least 90 per cent of students completed their allocated time in the Square Peg Program, and all participants who attended the program over the three terms were awarded a certificate of participation to attach to their resume.
Devonport City Council also linked in with existing partners to deliver the Square Peg Project, including Tasmania Police, Youth Family and Community Connections and Fishes and Loaves.
Project partners played a very positive part within the program, for example, Tasmania Police’s Early Intervention Youth Action Unit Officer helped deliver the recreation component of the program and joined in the kitchen activities, interacting and cooking with participants. This was a particularly positive inclusion to the program as the majority of the young people participating in the program have been on the other side of the law and it has helped to build positive relationships between young people and Tasmania Police.
image: Recipe book provided to students to continue cooking healthy meals at home.