Home Media Innovative youth-led mental health project keeping Loddon Campaspe youth in touch

Innovative youth-led mental health project keeping Loddon Campaspe youth in touch

November 23, 2020


The 2020 YACVic Rural Youth Awards have recognised the positive stories and outstanding achievements of young people, youth workers and community groups in rural and regional communities who have been dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 as well as drought, fires and floods.

“Young people, youth workers and youth-led projects in rural and regional communities have all stepped up and found new ways this year to stay connected and continue to make a positive difference on people’s lives,” says Katherine Ellis, CEO of Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), the peak body for young people and the youth sector in Victoria.

Loddon Campaspe’s Keep in Touch project (KiT) is a mobile mental health toolkit to empower and support young people to achieve and maintain positive mental health and wellbeing received the award for Outstanding Youth-Led Project.

The youth-led project is made up of the KIT van (a mobile youth space), the KIT App (an online youth service directory), and youth partners the KIT Youth Champions. The KIT Project aims to reach young people who need a space to boost their mental wellbeing – to have some fun, chill, connect with others, as well as find advice and support.

“Anglicare Victoria and the KIT Youth Champions are absolutely thrilled to accept YACVic’s award for the Keep in Touch Project. We want to acknowledge the hard work and expertise of the young people across the Loddon-Campaspe region who have taken part in designing KIT, and say a big thank you to our partners; DHHS, Regional Development Victoria and all the youth services that have been involved in supporting this initiative,” says Sidrah, Keep in Touch Project worker for Anglicare Victoria.

“We’re proud that partnering with young people has created a project fuelled by their passion for youth wellbeing in our region. The lived experience, energy, and expertise of young people has been essential to designing the Keep in Touch project and to the everyday delivery of the Kit van and our online spaces.”

“We want young people across Loddon Campaspe to know that we’re building and adapting the Keep in Touch project to meet their needs and aspirations. If you’re passionate about leading youth mental health promotion in your community, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch by calling 0456 995 506 or emailing KIT.Van@anglicarevic.org.au”

“There’s been youth voice at every stage, and that’s what makes the project so special, so relevant to young people,” says Kyle Hayes, Kit Youth Champion.

“I’ve really felt that my voice is valuable, that I’ve actually been able to continually engage with members of the Steering Committee to make sure this project is the best that it can be” says Cheyenne Cadence, Kit Youth Champion.

“Kit has supported me in being more confident in myself and being more confident in my community and in voicing my community’s views” says Lilli-Rose Gemmill, Kit Youth Champion.

The winners of each category were announced at the 2020 YACVic Rural Awards Ceremony.

  • Young Person Leading Change: Janelle Graham, Berry Street Y Change Initiative, Shepparton
  • Youth Worker Making a Difference: Ken Innes, MASP Kokoda Youth Mentoring Project, Mildura 
  • Outstanding Youth Project or Program: Keep In Touch Project (KIT) Project, Bendigo
  • Rural Hall of Fame: Pauline Neil, Co-founder of Live4Life and Youth Development Co-ordinator, Macedon Ranges Shire Council
  • Young People’s Choice (voted by YACVic young members in rural and regional Vic): Youth Advisory Board, Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network, Ballarat

“Congratulations to all of the 2020 Rural Youth Award nominees, finalists and winners. Your dedication, commitment and contributions are hugely valuable to rural and regional communities,” says Ms Ellis.

To find out more about each recipient, visit: yacvic.org.au/rya2020

Media contact: Recipients are available for media interviews. For any stories, contact Thomas Feng, YACVic Media and Communications Manager, 0431 285 275.

About Youth Affairs Council Victoria Rural (YACVic Rural)

YACVic Rural is a key service of YACVic which provides targeted state-wide advocacy for young people in regional communities and the rural youth sector. YACVic is the peak body and leading advocate for young people aged 12–25 and youth workers in Victoria. Our vision is that young Victorians have their rights upheld and are valued as active participants in their communities.