Games, free water and general wellbeing chill out zones at two of Leavers’ most popular hotspots will be a breath of fresh air for students celebrating the end of their schooling years next week.
Leavers celebrations officially kick off on November 19 with thousands of youth expected to descend on Dunsborough or catch the ferry across to Rottnest Island for the week-long celebrations.
Staff and volunteers from Hope Community Services will be heading along for the ride, which youth services coordinator Leeanne Bates describes as an amazing experience.
“We know young people will take drugs and alcohol unfortunately however the message is how to minimise the risk to themselves and others and all the other services play a role in helping the young people,” she said.
“The majority of young people respond very well and form a rapport with our youth workers and volunteers so that if they need help in any way it is achieved by trust and communication.”
The services available in Dunsborough include a wellness area in Lions Park, which features games, feet and head massages and a general wellbeing area with beanbags, while the staff and volunteers at Rottnest Island host a barbecue each night at the island’s safe house.
Ms Bates said she has learnt to expect nothing in her six-year tenure with Leavers Week celebrations as each year is different with a different set of young people and a new set of challenges.
“Volunteering at Leavers is an amazing experience, working with a band of likeminded volunteers and staff, as well as the engagement with young people from all over Western Australia,” she said.
“Each year is a fantastic opportunity to help young people, to meet them and keep them safe.”
Five staff from Hope Community Services and 48 volunteers will travel to the Dunsborough celebrations while two Hope Community Services staff and 18 volunteers will attend the Rottnest Island celebrations.