Supporting vulnerable youth in the Hunter
July 12, 2012

Wesley Newcastle Youth Services provide valuable help and information to young people from 12 to 25 years and their families in the Hunter who may be vulnerable due to homelessness, alcohol and drug abuse, family breakdown or mental health issues. 

Xstrata Coal has a three-year commitment with Wesley Newcastle Youth Service to help create a safe and supportive centre for young people in the region. Part of this includes funding to the Service to employ a Youth Outreach Worker who, with a group of 12 trained volunteers, works with police, local government and schools to maintain a network for youth support services across the region.

The Youth Outreach position is part of the Service’s Youth Harm Minimisation Outreach Initiative and will enable one-on-one counselling to be provided to the region’s crisis-affected youth.

Xstrata-CSI-Zach Christie OLeary 648
Wesley Mission’s Street Smart Youth Outreach Worker, Christie O'Leary with Zach, a youth from the Hunter region.

Xstrata Coal funding has also gone towards the purchase of a new Street Smart Van to provide a base to connect with the Hunter’s vulnerable youth, such as homeless and isolated young people. The van will give the already strong Street Smart program more flexibility to reach young people who may not usually make use of mainstream youth services.  

“We are thankful for the considerable support of Xstrata Coal,” said Rev Dr Keith Garner, CEO of Wesley Mission. “It is encouraging that community partnerships like this one are already providing significant and positive outcomes for young people in the Hunter.”

Hitting the streets in late 2011, the van provides support and counselling to an approximate 30 in crisis youth each month.


“The service Wesley Mission offers young people in the Hunter is changing and even saving lives. Donating resources to purchase and outfit a new van meant we could help the Wesley Mission Youth Outreach team access youths in need, when and where they need it most. We are proud to be involved,” said Steve Hubert, General Manager Central Operations, Xstrata Coal NSW.

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