The YMCA Canberra Paddle Hub has sparked a new relationship this past year with the CREATE Foundation. The CREATE Foundation is a not-for-profit that represents the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience. They run programs and services across all Australian states and territories for children and young people in foster care, kinship care, and residential care.
In March, the CREATE Foundation and the Paddle Hub team organised transportation and an hour and a half paddle session for 15 youths and their friends, this was part of a gift provided to participants at the annual Christmas Party hosted by the YMCA Canberra. For many youth involved in this program, they do not have the funding or opportunities to get involved in recreational leisure activities. This event provided the group with the access and the means to enjoy Lake Burley Griffin and make connections with other youth and families within the Canberra community.
Like our other group bookings provided during the Paddle Hub Season, the kids learned basic skills needed to paddle a kayak or Stand Up Paddle Board, gained valuable safety knowledge about the equipment and water hazards, and had a great time with our staff enjoying Lake Burley Griffin.
Below you can see the Mascot of the CREATE Foundation, a purple sloth, that was gifted to the YMCA Canberra Team, and lovingly named Lilac (for the colour of her fur) enjoying her first paddle at the YMCA Canberra Paddle Hub.