In 2012, The Trafalgar Lions Club let the Trafalgar Youth Resource Centre (TYRC) know about a funding opportunity from the Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation [ALDAF] for the new ALDAF Community Initiatives Project. The TYRC saw the opportunity to expand the programs offered at Trafalgar High School. The Youth Centre and School had a strong partnership around mentoring programs and it was felt this opportunity from the ALDAF was a chance to try something new.
At the time, Masterchef was big on TV. We saw young people taking a new interest in cooking and also knew that healthy eating was an important part of the overall health of our young people. The Trafalgar partners were aware the positive relationships students made with adults who volunteered in the program would improve the community connectedness of the young people – an identified strong way to reduce the risk of alcohol and other drug use in a young person’s life.
A momentum built and Lions and Lionesses, as well as Rotarians and local business people, volunteered their time to the program. The Trafalgar Lions Club stepped in with local funds to support the first program. Additional programs have been funded by Berry Street Victoria, the business community of Trafalgar and fundraising by the young people themselves including using the Scouts Australia Our School Raffle.
What is the Program?
Boys in years 7, 8 and 9 have the opportunity to engage socially with community mentors while learning to prepare and cook low cost healthy meals that they can use now at home with family and later in life when at TAFE or Uni when they may be living away from home. The program runs for
10 weeks and focuses on shopping locally for ingredients. Support for volunteers is offered by the Trafalgar Youth Resources Centre.
In 2014 we have held one program and are about to start a second. Over 50 volunteers are involved in the delivery. We have strong support from the Lions club including the loan of BBQs, help in recruiting volunteers, service awards for young people who take leadership roles and hopefully funding towards future programs to keep this an important part of school life.
We thank the Lions Club of Trafalgar and the ALDAF for the original funding to this program in 2012, Berry Street Vic for funding in 2013 and the current funding from the businesses of Trafalgar. David “Wombat” Lyons JP (Student Welfare – Trafalgar High School )
Note from the ALDAF National Drug Education Consultant
The Trafalgar Boys Cooking Program captures the spirit of the ALDAF Community Initiatives Project allowing volunteer adults and students to enjoy each other’s company, stories and support. Two years on, the project is so popular that every volunteer mentor has offered their services for more than one program and students are asking to be involved. Special thanks must be given to Dorothy Hoare OAM who motivated the Lions Club members to be involved and, through her position as Program Coordinator at the Trafalgar Youth Resource Centre,had the vision to network community links.