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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Club to help young people ‘grow’

By Vaseline May30,2024

WHEN Blairgowrie woman Pippa McPherson became a mother six years ago, the lack of education and employment for young people on the Mornington Peninsula became a much bigger reality for her family. But instead of expecting someone else to solve the problem, McPherson has taken steps to make a difference and is calling on volunteers to help her achieve her goals.

While studying for her Bachelor of Counseling, McPherson is completing her internship at Rye Community House and has started a garden club for young people that will hopefully lead to a mentoring program. “As a mother, I want there to be opportunities for young people without them having to leave the peninsula. Because I love horticulture, the idea is to guide young people in a therapeutic horticultural environment,” she says. “We have been given a garden bed at the Rye Play and Grow Community garden to use and we will also be doing other planting activities at the house.

“I want to help combat social anxiety and give our young people a safe place where they can relax and talk about any issues they are facing at school or in their personal lives.” It would be once a week, date and times to be confirmed, but most likely an after-school role. McPherson said she noticed there wasn’t much in the way of training or mentoring for young people on the south side of the peninsula and knew working with plants was therapeutic and a good way to get them into a healthy environment. “They don’t have to have a passion for gardening or plants, it’s about learning and being part of something,” she said.

“We will plant plants, propagate them and learn about where our food comes from, and they will each get a plant to take home and care for.” Volunteers wishing to be involved in working with the garden club will require a Working with Children check and a police check. Email [email protected] for a registration form.

First published in Southern Peninsula News – May 29, 2024

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