This time we’re showcasing a Victorian Foyer, Education First Youth Foyer (EFYF) GoTafe known to us at the Foyer Foundation as, Shepp Foyer.
The first thing you notice when you visit Shepp Foyer (whether that is via a drive up the Goulburn Valley Fwy or clicking on their social media pages) is that they do a brilliant job at showcasing their great community spirit in the Foyer. Their social media presence has inspired us at the Foyer Foundation to showcase the great work within Australian Foyers.
When we asked Foyer manager Anita McCurdy how they get the young people so engaged in all they do, she said : “We just keep the positivity up amongst the team, we offer many opportunities for the young people to be involved in, most of them rise to the challenge and get on board.”
We had a catch up with Foyer Team Leader Tessa Marnane to find out more about Shepp Foyer.
How long has EFYF GoTafe been open in Shepparton?
Our Foyer up here in Shepparton opened 4 years 2 months ago and a highlight for this service is that since opening we’ve only had 2 changes to our staff team.
We have a very strong and close team of staff, one we’re very proud of. Because we have formed a good culture from the beginning, we were all on the same page about how to be the best support for the young people we work with. We rely on relationships and connection to get the most successful outcomes. The team consists of 7 permanent/ 5 casuals 24/7 Youth Development Workers that are also champions of the service offers of the program. The Manager, Team Leader and Senior worker makes up our leadership team and a GOTAFE teacher who delivers our Developing Independence certificate and a Beyond Housing Tenancy worker.
How many young people reside and study with you on any night?
At the Shepp Foyer we house 40 young people at a time, with our Foyer being at full capacity most of the time.
What is your favourite thing about your Foyer?
My favourite thing about our Foyer is how well kept and colourful it always is. Even when we were in lockdown during the dull corona virus times, the student/ residents always found a way to brighten up the Foyer with lots of art, including huge portraits that cover the walls, celebration decorations and posters.
The Foyer is very homely and always kept so tidy, with a lot of respect for one another.
What makes your Foyer unique to your local community?
I find being a regional location it’s much easier to organise community events, get volunteers to the events and encourage young people to be involved in local charity work.
The community has been a great support to our Foyer, from donating meals, clothing, sneakers and supplies, to having fundraising posters displayed in their shop windows and sharing the great work from our Foyer in the local media and on social media.
Shepparton is very on board supporting the Civic participation offer.
What is something you’re looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to holding an inhouse Valedictory dinner this year, for the year 12 graduating students who will miss out on the traditional celebrations due to covid 19.
There’s been a lot of changes and things put on hold due to covid19 and I’m proud of how our team here at Shepparton have found ways to support and celebrate our residents.