Youth engagement program improves connectedness in Red Cliffs area

The pilot youth engagement program has proven to be a great success, with increased community connectedness and participation seen from within the Red Cliffs community.

Managed by Aligned Leisure and in partnership with Hands Up Mallee and the Mildura Rural City Council, the Red Cliffs Swimming Pool offered free entry to children 17 years and under for the recent Summer school holidays.

Throughout the pilot period, visitation to the pool doubled compared to the same time last year, including a welcome increase in visitation from parents and guardians.

The program aimed to establish the swimming pool as a safe place for youth to meet over the school holidays. In turn, it improved overall social outcomes for families and created strong connections between locals and pool staff.

This comes at an essential time for the Red Cliffs community, after the river’s flooding reduced the number of safe areas for youth to gather on hot summer days.

Mildura Leisure Manager Caitlin Simmons said she was delighted at the outcome of the pilot.

The initial announcement received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from the community, showing the significant need for a safe and accessible facility within the local area.

Caitlin Simmons, Mildura Leisure Manager

“The Red Cliffs community really embraced the program, and we have seen this in the success of several target areas, including patron behaviour, which is pleasing.

“With the increase in visitation from locals, staff have enjoyed building stronger relationships with the Red Cliffs community, solidifying the swimming pool as a place to gather and socialise while underlining our facility as a great community asset.”

With Mildura’s hot climate, the Red Cliffs Swimming Pool will continue to be an important place for the local community in the future and this pilot program has proved that increased youth attendance at the pool could benefit all.

A highlight of the program was seeing the local youth advisory group, who played a significant role in bringing the pilot program to life, working together with younger patrons showing leadership and being positive role models in our community. With this next generation coming through, we know the Red Cliffs community is in good hands for many years to come.

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