Lilydale Youth Hub starts making difference

Kylie has been teaching young people the art of yoga and how it can help with mental health and wellbeing. Picture: SUPPLIED.

The Lilydale Youth Hub has been building up an extensive base of activities for young people since opening fully in November last year.

With a focus on improving the mental health and wellbeing of the young right across the Yarra Ranges, case workers and staff have been thinking of creative ways to interact and support young people.

With yoga sessions, art therapy, animal therapy and a tattoo design workshop all on offer, the variety means there’s something for everyone, even if they have never done it before.

“I was a bit nervous and excited the first time I came to the hub. Yoga was something different that I hadn’t tried before,” one young person said.

Peer support worker Kylie has more than eight years’ experience teaching yoga and focuses on breathing, positivity, and connection to self.

The mindfulness and wellbeing tools help young people feel relaxed and clear minded after the sessions and is something they can use in their daily lives.

“I like the hub because they help with anxiety and depression, but they do it in ways that aren’t boring or intense therapy,” the young person said.

“They help me with what I’ve got going on, but I also get to do fun activities too.”

Kylie loves seeing the young people develop and said having a safe and welcoming space for them to engage with their health and wellbeing was a huge benefit.

As the hub grows through word of mouth, organisers hope to include more activities and events to be inclusive of all young people.

In the works at the hub are a youth fair, a pride event, Friday night hangouts and a Youth Action Group, which can help plan events and activities and have a sense of ownership over the hub.

The consortium of services provides young people aged 12 to 25 with peer support workers, counsellors, one-on-one guidance and mentoring, with an open door policy for people to charge phones, have a chat with someone or get a snack.

“I came here with friends, and they always have snacks which is good. It’s just a good place to hang out,” the young person said.

“If you haven’t heard of the hub it’s OK. It’s not scary, just come and have fun.”