Braeside Latter-day Saints Restore Youth Site

  • 15 March 2012

Helping Hands volunteers pause for a photo.

“The work was badly needed... Our limited funding makes such maintenance nearly impossible. I am so very grateful!”

200 members of the Braeside Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently set out to repaint, repair, and refurbish Mornington Peninsula Youth Enterprises. In addition to the manpower, the Church donated $5000 worth of materials and tools to the project.

“The work was badly needed,” said Russell Ardley, founder of the Victoria youth support facility. “Our limited funding makes such maintenance nearly impossible. I am so very grateful!”

After nineteen years, the facility is well-used and well-worn. Volunteers constructed a porch and other amenities, repaired buildings, painted, laid pathways, cut down weeds, cleaned out rubbish, and put new plants into the landscape.

“A sea of yellow appeared as people of all ages swarmed over the property,” said volunteer Teri Milner, speaking of the “Helping Hands” vests worn by the workers. “A spirit of love and service lasted through the whole day.”

Children did their share of painting, alongside teenagers, who also tackled gardening and helped with reconstruction and repair. Thirteen-year old Hannah, from Springvale, said, “Even though there was a lot of work to do, we had the best fun!”

The two hectare work site provides a range of education, training, and support services to 400 youth annually. The program is designed to help those who have been deprived of a stable family life and opportunities for education. It welcomes those who have been involved with the justice system or whose opportunities have been limited by addictions or mental illness.

Jess, age eighteen, from Mornington, said, “It was great to be doing something for the youth who use this place—that just made me happy.”

Stake President Andrew O’Riordan helped Mr. Ardley supervise the work, and the Relief Society (women’s organization of the Church) provided lunch.

Click here to see a gallery of images.