Well done Victoria! We have witnessed first-hand the commitment and resilience shown by young people within the community and we’re so proud of the way everyone pulled together to tackle COVID-19. Our efforts have paid off, and we welcome the cautious transition out of stage 4 lockdowns towards a more open ‘COVID-safe’ way of life.

While we know the world is still experiencing a pandemic, this careful opening up means some of our programs will be able to take steps towards ‘COVID-safe’ operations, while others will stay as they have been for the near future. Here’s an update on what we know so far.

Michelle Crawford and her mum

 

Until at least the end of 2020 our staff and volunteers will continue to work from home and organisationally we continue to work in a COVID-safe way.

Staff and volunteers in our Inside Out and Steps Outreach Service teams will continue to support vulnerable young people in a COVID-safe way, using virtual and remote interactions as much as possible. When young people need in-person support, all guidelines for safety will be followed. Live-In Mentors and young people living in our Inside Out homes will be allowed to have visitors in line with the strict guidelines announced by the Victorian Government. This will provide much-needed and long-awaited relief for these households.

Our Chaplains will continue to be guided by DHHS staff at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre about how and when they can visit and provide support to the young men in the facility.

Schools in Victoria are now able to book incursions, and our Values for Life team is ready to speak to any school that would like to book workshops and presentations. However, we understand that such a tumultuous year means that many schools will take a cautious approach to the remainder of term 4, and will prefer to wait until the start of the 2021 school year.

Hand Brake Turn classes will resume on Wednesday, 4 November. We are aiming to open fiXit up to servicing vehicles for the general public in mid to late November, but you can donate a car, or buy a car from us, right now.

Most excitingly, Hand Brake Turn classes will resume on Wednesday, 4 November. We are excited to be able to again provide automotive vocational training opportunities for young people who urgently need it. Demand for course places is high. We will work hard to get through the backlog of students in a COVID-safe way at our north-west and south-east Metropolitan Melbourne sites.

This COVID-safe approach includes moving classroom activities into open spaces on both sites. For the rest of the year, we will host twice the amount of students as normal each week. Each student group will be divided into smaller groups to maintain physical distancing while on site, and deep cleaning of classroom and workshop areas will occur regularly.

Hand Brake Turn fiXit is now formally registered as a social enterprise. fiXit is currently available to take donations of cars and sell cars. We have cars ready for sale right now, so please contact us if you or someone you know is looking to buy a car.

We are aiming to open fiXit up to servicing vehicles for the general public in mid to late November after Hand Brake Turn classes are up and running and there’s more freedom of movement for customers to travel to drop vehicles off at our two sites.

Concern Australia’s commitment is to continue to create and seek out opportunities that lead to young people realising their potential and build hope for their future. As retail and hospitality re-opens we are delighted that thousands of young people will return to work. We look forward to seeing more jobs created for young people that enable skill development and experience as part of Victoria’s economic recovery.