On the front foot

A photo of Ryleigh wearing his football club top just finishing the park run on a saturday. He is milling.

Sixteen-year-old Ryleigh is full of surprises. He joined Anglicare’s Youth2Independence (Y2I) program at Thyne House in Launceston six weeks ago and has already made his name known.

Each Saturday, Youth Development Coach Mitchell Langley coordinates a contingent from Thyne to participate in the Launceston parkrun. It’s part of the ‘health and wellbeing’ and ‘community participation’ service offerings that the young people living and learning with Anglicare sign up to when they join the program.

“I was disappointed that Ryleigh couldn’t join the group because it clashed with his football training,” Mitchell said. “I casually mentioned that I would be doing a 21 kilometre half-marathon event soon and Ryleigh said ‘sign me up and I’ll beat you.’ I back-pedalled fast and told him it would be too far. He insisted he was fit enough and predicted he would be able to do it in around two hours. On the day, I told him to just do his own thing and not try and keep up with me. Well, he stayed in front of me the entire way and finished it in 1 hour and 34 minutes – a really good job – and of course he told everyone about it the next day.”

Ryleigh says while it was good to achieve his goal he also appreciated Mitchell’s support: “He helped me with things like paying to race, telling me where the water stops were and what to eat beforehand so I didn’t hurt myself. On the day I learnt how to stay focused and also how to socialise a bit more.”

With stable accommodation and this kind of support behind him, Ryleigh is looking forward to the future.

“I’m 16, I’m in my own place and I work full time. I’m going to meet my dad for the first time soon, which is a goal I’m trying to hold on to. I’m also focusing on football – I plan on making it to seniors.”

There’s been a steady stream of young people moving into Thyne since its expansion earlier this year. Anglicare operates similar facilities at Trinity Hill in North Hobart and Eveline House in Devonport. Another facility in Campbell Street in the Hobart CBD is in the final stages of construction.

Y2I is offered to 16-24 year olds who have been homeless or who are at risk of homelessness. Supported by Homes Tasmania, it is underpinned by the ‘Advantaged Thinking’ approach that builds on each person’s strengths and capabilities. Young people are required to complete a Certificate 1 in Developing Independence with TasTAFE.

Check this webpage to find out more about what is required of young people entering the program.

If you or someone you know is interested in the program, please make an initial enquiry with Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.


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