Skills and confidence for life

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Northcott support worker Kaitlyn Cole with student Jayden Hall. Photo: Melinda Jane

Local teenagers are gaining valuable life skills and confidence thanks to a newly established developmental program in Penrith.

Skills 4 Life is run by the not-for-profit disability service Northcott, and has been designed for young adults to help them on their journey of achieving independence.

Northcott support worker, Kaitlyn Cole, said it was great to see the growth of the teenagers since the program started earlier this year.

“To watch these guys gain independence, confidence and self-esteem as well as overcome fears and those little boundaries that they may have, is the best thing about this program,” she said.

“I’ve even learnt so much myself, just all the little bits and pieces that you sort of take for granted through everyday life.”

Meeting twice a week, the group of teenagers participate in a different educational activity each time, including learning how to cook, learning computer skills, travel training on trains and buses, as well as learning about their health and wellbeing.

Attending the program with about eight others is 18-year-old Jayden Hall, who Ms Cole said has taken on each task and activity with an amazing can-do attitude.

“I get to see my friends and get to learn new things that will help me as I get older and eventually move out of my parents’ home,” Mr Hall said.

“It’s also very thoughtful of these people to be helping young adults with their independence.”

Coming up to his last term of high school, Mr Hall said that the skills he had learnt would help him with his transition into life after school and he encouraged more people to come along to the program.

“This program is very good for people who don’t know what they are going to do when they get older,” he said.

Lauren Suttie

Lauren Suttie is the Weekender’s General & Community News journalist.

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