Nat’s Story: The Bluebird Foundation and the Girls Street Art Collective.July 7, 2020
Nat is a teenager with extra responsibilities.
She lives alone with and cares for her elderly Grandmother.
Unlike many kids her age, when she gets home from school she is in charge of the cooking, the cleaning, the shopping, managing the finances and helping her Grandmother with daily living and medical appointments.
This doesn’t leave much time or money for her interests or time with friends and leaves Nat socially isolated. There are many reasons young people experience social isolation – poverty, living in out-of-home care, language or cultural barriers as a result of a refugee experience, disability, trauma or being a Young Carer like Nat.
Bluebird Foundation understands that connections matter when it comes to overcoming social isolation. Strong ties with friends and the community provide young people with happiness, security, support and a sense of purpose, ultimately building resilience.
Through Bluebird Foundation’s ‘Propeller’ program, Nat can develop friendships, skills and coping strategies under the guidance of artist and mentor, Laura Alice.
She looks forward to her time at Bluebird House each week as she values the friendships she has developed, commenting that they are “cool friends who understand and support each other.” Her support worker has observed that “she has more coping skills and has developed skills to deal with her own mind. She has much more confidence in herself.”
Over the past year, more than 40 young people have been supported to connect with peers and mentors at Bluebird House over a shared love of the arts – through visual arts, songwriting, diorama building and more.
And at this time when social restrictions due to COVID-19 have increased the risk of social isolation and closed down face-to-face workshops, the connections and creativity have been
maintained through an online program called ‘Creative Crew’, delivered through a password-protected website with weekly creative prompts, forums for chat, and a weekly video-conference.
Your donations to the Give Where You Live Foundation have enabled a $10,000 Community Connections grant to support the Bluebird Foundation’s ‘Propeller’ program with its mission to provide confidence and skills, building resilience that assists these vulnerable young people connect with their community and education.