‘Life change’ pro­gram

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

Wim­mera youth ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tough times have an op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in a new ‘life change’ pro­gram in the Grampians.

The WASP re­cov­ery pro­gram is de­liv­ered through­out a week­long in­ten­sive camp based on ad­ven­ture ther­apy.

For­mer al­co­hol and other drug coun­sel­lor Bren­dan Scale is spear­head­ing the Grampians pro­gram, cre­ated by his fam­ily’s not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, Del­huntie Youth Care.

Del­huntie Youth Care is based on NSW’S mid-north coast and also de­liv­ers pro­grams in Vic­to­ria.

Mr Scale is the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s pro­gram de­vel­op­ment co-or­di­na­tor and is thrilled to have an op­por­tu­nity to de­liver the WASP pro­gram in his own re­gion.

Based in Hor­sham, Mr Scale has worked in the Grampians and Wim­mera re­gions for the past 15 years.

He has a de­gree in coun­selling and ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in youth work, al­co­hol and other drugs and gen­eral coun­selling.

Through­out his time in the re­gion Mr Scale has de­vel­oped sev­eral pro­grams, in­clud­ing Wim­mera Drug Ac­tion Task­force, the Knowl­edge is Power school drug-ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram and Mud Map to Man­hood.

“Real change comes through ex­pe­ri­ence – through liv­ing the re­cov­ery,” Mr Scale said.

“That’s why we started up this pro­gram here. Coun­selling is great, but un­less you’re putting it into prac­tice, you’re not go­ing to change too much.”

The pro­gram is for young peo­ple aged 12 to 20 and is de­signed to help par­tic­i­pants un­cover their pain, hurt and frus­tra­tions and learn ways to deal with them con­struc­tively.

“Youth ser­vices have been scream­ing out for some­thing in­ten­sive like this, where peo­ple can go away to work out what their core is­sues are and then be linked back into ser­vices from there,” Mr Scale said.

“What this pro­gram does is give young peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to have lots of fun, be in the great out­doors and take on chal­lenges.

“It’s also an op­por­tu­nity to look at what’s go­ing on deep down in their lives and what’s stop­ping them from mov­ing for­ward. It’s only one week but change can be quite rapid if you’re deal­ing with the right is­sues in the right en­vi­ron­ment.”

Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude team-build­ing games, morn­ing swims, ab­seil­ing, camp­ing, hik­ing and anger man­age­ment.

“There are plenty of pro­grams where you can take kids on camps and take them on the high ropes and things like that. We do that, but it has a very strong ther­apy fo­cus,” Mr Scale said.

“We also do fol­low-up work. We check in with the kids, make sure they are linked in with a school or a ser­vice.

“The pro­gram is suit­able as part of an on­go­ing well­be­ing plan for young peo­ple in schools.”

Re­fer­ral

Mr Scale said the pro­gram was open to youth across the Wim­mera, Mallee and Grampians.

“Any­one can re­fer a per­son for the camp – schools, par­ents, some­one from a sport­ing club or a young per­son them­selves,” he said.

The pro­gram usu­ally costs $1400 a per­son but the first Grampians camp is half price.

“Be­ing a small, fam­ily not­for-profit ser­vice we don’t get any fund­ing from any­where, so we have to charge to cover wages,” Mr Scale said.

“But we wanted to keep the cost as low as we can, so the Grampians camp will be $680.

“For the av­er­age fam­ily, it’s a lot of money. With this in mind, we wel­come all in­quiries for the pro­gram and, af­ter a dis­cus­sion, will make a de­ci­sion re­gard­ing spon­sor­ship on a case-by-case ba­sis.”

Mr Scale has called on busi­nesses, com­mu­nity groups and in­di­vid­u­als to con­sider spon­sor­ing the camp.

“We’ve al­ready had one com­mu­nity mem­ber say this camp is great, can we spon­sor one kid?” he said. “We’re talk­ing with schools and other ser­vices to see if they can help fund it.”

Peo­ple can call Mr Scale on 0448 816 695 or email del­huntie01@gmail.com to in­quire about the camp or be­com­ing a spon­sor. Peo­ple can also search www.del­huntie.org.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

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