The diverse and comprehensive range of innovative psycho-social initiatives, programs and support services offered by The Venny assist in combating their experience of family breakdown, isolation, boredom, educational disengagement and crime. In addition to its core operations, The Venny facilitates a series of tailored programs to suit different groups of children in need.
| Animal Program
Our animal program allows children and young people to engage with animals. We currently have chickens and guinea pigs on site for children to interact with. Providing children with the opportunity to hold, cuddle and feed animals helps them to cultivate empathy and compassion and makes kids feel good by calming their nervous systems and slowing them down.
| Arts and Sports Referral Program
The Venny works closely with the Artists for Kids Culture Trust, the Kensington Flemington Junior Sports Club, NetGOALS, The Huddle, Living Learning Music and more to ensure children and young people in the community have access to sports and music opportunities. We connect with families, carers and agencies that assist with tuition and membership fees, equipment, uniforms, and transport. We assist with the administration process of accessing sports and music lessons. We advocate, broker and guide children and young people to overcome social and economic barriers to participating in music and sporting activities.
| Bike Education Program
The Venny bike program teaches children how to ride, repair and maintain their own bike. We partner with Victoria Police and community volunteers to recycle, repair, and reuse unwanted and unclaimed bikes. These bikes are gifted to children in need and provides a mode of transport and freedom for young people. Bike riding gives kids independent mobility and keeps them fit and active.
| Boys Group +
Tailored for young people aged between 9-15 who identify as a male. Boys Group+ is a social and emotional support program with an activity focus. Boys Group+ runs throughout the school term and is on Friday evenings from 6-8pm. This program provides boys with positive role models and encourages cooperation, inclusion and a shared focus whilst also encouraging positive expression of strong emotions and self-regulation. Staff are able to assist children and young people to get home safely if they live in the Kensington Public Housing Estate.
| Dinner Night Program
The Dinner Night program provides a safe space for young people to connect, have fun together and access a healthy meal. The program focuses on healthy eating, cooking and life skill development with a fresh healthy meal prepared with young people. Children and young people share dinner together and participate in play and structured activities. This provides children with the opportunity to develop their social skills. Staff are able to assist children and young people to get home safely if they live in the Kensington Public Housing Estate.
The Venny provides 375 to 400 nutritious meals and snacks to children and families per week. Food parcels are provided to 27 children weekly, these parcels assist children to go to school with a healthy lunch.
| Girls Group+
Tailored to young people aged between 8 to15 who identify as female, Girls Group+ is a social and emotional support program with an activity focus. Girls Group+ runs throughout school terms and is on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm. Girls Group+ has been operating since the year 2000, and has a particular focus on supporting girls from situations described as ‘parents by-proxy’, and girls living in difficult circumstances. The program promotes a caring and nurturing therapeutic environment, with a focus on inclusion and supported social engagement. The program caters for girls, who for cultural reasons, are not able to socialise with men. Staff are able to assist children and young people to get home safely if they live in the Kensington Public Housing Estate.
| Permaculture Program
The Venny garden has been established over a number of years and is based on permaculture principles. The Venny permaculture project contributes to the provision of fresh produce used to provide healthy meals to over 400 children and young people at after school and evening programs Any excess produce is distributed to families experiencing food insecurities. The program educates children on sustainable food systems and close loop waste systems. The Venny has worm farms and compost bins which provides a close loop waste system at The Venny.
| Volunteering Program
Volunteers are the foundation of our community and The Venny. You can find our volunteers on programs, on the board, supporting events, running working bees, in the garden and in play sessions. For this to be fully supported we require this to be managed by a volunteer manager. We are looking to expand our volunteer reach and need your help!
Other programs offered at The Venny:
- Environmental, Education and garden programs
- Tuning into Kids
- School Class Group Programs
- University Site Visits and Presentations
- Circus skills and Performance Projects
- Puppetry and Performance Projects
- Youth Music Project
- Indigenous Cultural Awareness and Story Telling
- Cooking Classes
- Women’s Refuge Program (play sessions for mothers and children in a safe environment)
- Access visits for Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) and DHHS Supported Clients
- Access visits for Disability Support programs
- Self Care Programs
- Cyber Safety and Education
The Venny is an integral part of the local community support network. It works closely with a wide range of organisations to provide wrap around care and support to children young people and families.