As a not for profit organisation, the contribution of our volunteer Board of Management and staff are key to our success. We wish to recognise and thank those who have been a part of the AYSA team during the past year, including previous staff members, artists and volunteers. The people contributing to AYSA provide a valuable link to community for many young people. In our work individuals and the relationships and compassion they bring creates transformative opportunities for change.
2017-18 has been an exciting year for Albany Youth Support Association, with the organisation seeing growth and expansion into new directions, new programs, new partnerships and new staff, while at the same time remaining true to our mission: providing safe spaces, support and services to young people and their families.
AYSA Chairperson’s Report
We could never have imagined that the 2019-20year would present such incredible challenges. Like most organisations through the COVID-19lockdown crisis, AYSA was under extraordinary pressures in endeavouring to maintain outreach services and provide emergency accommodation for homeless young people in a time of immense uncertainty. It is testament to the dedication of the entire AYSA team, and their commitment to young people that AYSA services were maintained through the lockdown period and ongoing, although conditions dictated that the way these services were delivered was different. AYSA ensured that the high quality support and service to young people at risk of disengagement and homelessness was maintained. In early 2020, a decision was taken to seek alternative accommodation for our Outreach and Open Access programs, to better accommodate the need for a dedicated place and the space for our young clients. 4 Sanford Road, Albany was identified and leased and is in the process of being renovated and refurbished. This new venture will enable us to once again operate our Outreach and Art programs from a dedicated centre for the young people we serve, and give AYSA capacity to further expand and develop new programs to respond to the needs of young people at risk. By far the largest hurdle we face at this time, is the need for additional financial resources to enable these programs to not only function but flourish to create a safe place for young people ‘at risk’. There are a number of exciting projects and programs currently being evaluated by the Board and I am confident that what started as a small residential home for homeless young people over 30 years ago will continue to push boundaries; grow and develop outreach programs to support the growing number of disempowered young people and to be a powerful voice for young people in Albany and the Great Southern. I would like to acknowledge the hard working and extraordinary contribution of AYSA Board Members, Levi Wheatcroft, Simon London, Ian Clarke, Sharmin Hardy, Julie de Jong and new Board Member, Steve Cowley who provided strong and enduring support throughout the year. The CEO, Ricky Burges, Outreach Services Manager, Chrystie Flint and Residential Services Manager, Kiri Floyd did an outstanding job during a difficult and complex year. I would like to acknowledge their hard work and efforts in what has been an extremely challenging time. Finally, I once again want to take the opportunity to thank the passionate and committed staff of AYSA who continue to provide the consistent support and service to homeless and ‘at risk’ young people. They do a truly remarkable job and I thank them on behalf of the Board.