Wallet-card grants free-entry into community spaces for southern Wheatbelt youth

Isabel VieiraNarrogin Observer
Holyoake alcohol and other drug prevention officer Jo Woodruff
Camera IconHolyoake alcohol and other drug prevention officer Jo Woodruff Credit: Holyoake/Holyoake

Young people across the southern Wheatbelt can get their hands on a free wallet card that gives them entry to a range of activities as well as access to resources to help with alcohol, drug and mental health issues.

The Within Your Wallet Card project is a joint initiative by Holyoake’s Wheatbelt Community Alcohol and Drug Service and the Pingelly and Brookton Local Drug Action Team, funded by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

Holyoake alcohol and other drug prevention officer Jo Woodruff said the aim of the project was to help reduce the harm associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs in young people across southern Wheatbelt communities.

Since the launch in June, Ms Woodruff said more than 1800 wallet cards had been rolled out to people aged 11-18 across the region.

“Young people, particularly teenagers, reach a point where alcohol and drugs are coming into their spheres and we are trying to look at ways to reduce the harms associated with that,” she said.

“So looking at ways to reduce the uptake of alcohol, reduce the initiation of when they start to drink alcohol or use other drugs, and if they do, trying to reduce the amount that they’re consuming.

“We’re particularly interested in reducing the harms associated with binge drinking, motor vehicle accidents, falls, fights, arguments and all of those sorts of short-term harms that can come with large volumes of alcohol consumption.”

Ms Woodruff said one of the ways the project aimed to reduce the harm associated with alcohol and drugs was to fund diversionary activities for young people to access free of charge.

“What we have done is provide funding for activities for young people to attend free of charge if they show their wallet card,” she said.

“That includes free entry to the local pool, free basketball court hire or free entry to the gym or exercise classes if they are old enough to attend.

“Having more young people involved in healthy wellbeing activities helps to reduce the uptake of alcohol and other drugs and improves mental health and wellbeing.”

The card also features two QR codes which direct people to drug, alcohol and mental health support services and resources, as well as a calendar listing all the free-entry activities.

“On the inside of the card is a list of alcohol and other drug resources, websites, helplines and chat lines that provide accurate information that is age-appropriate on alcohol, other drugs and mental health and wellbeing services,” Ms Woodruff said.

“On the front we have got two QR codes. One of them links to the Within Reach Wheatbelt Instagram page, and the other one is a QR code to a digital calendar.

“The digital calendar has all the activities related to young people in the southern Wheatbelt, so we have asked all the Shires and stakeholders to put their information in it.” The free wallet cards are available to be picked up at the Narrogin Regional Leisure Centre and local schools, community resource centres and swimming pools across the southern Wheatbelt.

For details, contact jwood ruff@holyoake.org.au

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