Port Stephens placemaking, art and mental health initiatives supported by volunteers

The jupiter mental health counselling service, powered by volunteers, is a much needed support for Port Stephens youth.

VOLUNTEERS play a vital role in supporting key initiatives being delivered across multiple sectors in Port Stephens.

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces.

In this space, there are plenty of local volunteers, including from the Tomaree Headland Heritage Group, who are working with the State Government and Port Stephens Council to transition the old Tomaree Lodge site to be used for community and recreation use.

They are also engaged in gathering the military history of the Tomaree Headland and developing a history book for the benefit of visitors, the community and historians.

Meanwhile, the Port Stephens Community Arts Centre promotes and encourages the developpment of arts and crafts in the Port Stephens area.

“We offer our community the opportunity to experience and take part in a broad range of art and craft activities,” Liz Berger from the Arts Centre said.

“We pride ourselves on cultivating creativity and friendship via community arts and crafts.

“One of the joys of being a member is the volunteering aspect, where members provide customer service in the Gallery for a three-hour half-day shift once a month.

“Running the Arts Centre requires a vast array of skills.

“It is rewarding to be supported by our volunteers, who have unique skills and perspectives.

“Arts centre volunteers enjoy building bonds and connections with other members, and the wider community.

“This in turn benefits the growth and development of the Arts Centre immensely.”

Caring for Our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY) is the management team behind jupiter, a local youth counselling service run by the community.

“Delivering support pathways towards mental fitness and wellbeing creating a brighter future for our Port Stephens youth,” Meryl Miller said.

“jupiter provides free, easily accessible, private and confidential mental health and wellness support, with a variety of non-judgemental counselling, recreation and wellbeing opportunities to the youth (12-25 years) in the Port Stephens LGA

“As a community run service, we rely on dedicated experienced volunteers to support our counselling team with various administration and event positions.

“Our volunteers feel that they have a positive impact in our community, by helping to support our organisation and improving the lives and outcomes for others.

“The COPSY management committee that empowers jupiter is made up of volunteers that add value to our charitable organisation.

“The Management Committee is currently looking for new motivation like minded applicants for the positions of President, and Treasurer.

“Volunteering for COPSY brings many personal rewards and benefits to one’s life and helps individuals feel more connected and valued in having a positive impact in Caring of Our Port Stephens Youth,” Meryl said.


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