Taldumande Youth Services 

FutureSteps recently completed a 12-month project to assist homeless and at-risk children and young people in the care of Taldumande Youth Services.

The assistance included building works, maintenance and donations of goods and services and was carried out through FutureSteps, a Lendlease shared value initiative, based on helping ensure everyone has a place to call home.

Lendlease Property CEO, Kylie Rampa is the Chair of the FutureSteps Advisory Committee and says, “Lendlease’s approach to sustainability is centred around our strong focus on community and social value and the FutureSteps initiative stems from that.”

“By partnering with established not-for-profit organisations, the aim of FutureSteps is to boost the availability of quality accommodation and support services to empower vulnerable people and by investing in targeted skilling, training and jobs programs, we are supporting Taldumande Youth Services to do just this,” she said.

Taldumande Youth Services has a property in North Willoughby that houses three young people as part of their Youth at Risk Independent Accommodation Program. This program offers semi supported housing for young people aged 16 to 18 years who are transitioning to independent living.

To increase the supply of beds by two, FutureSteps provided a grant of more than $43,000 to convert the garage to a granny flat, parent and child accommodation or an education centre for HSC students.

Amplifying the partnership, Lendlease’s Commercial Funds and Asset Management team donated a year’s supply of shampoo, conditioner, bodywash and hand sanitiser which were essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Victoria Cross Integrated Station Development Team also threw their weight behind the project and repainted the crisis refuge for 12 to 15-year-old young people and gave a makeover to the backyard of another Taldumande house. They didn’t just stop at a garden clean-up either, a BBQ and outdoor dining was also added to the property.

Lendlease Executive Project Manager Paul Elkington said, “Over 35 members of the Victoria Cross team gave more than 200 hours to Taldumande Youth Services, to improve the accommodation provided to youth at risk of homelessness.”

“In addition to the volunteering opportunity, our team appreciated the time spent with Taldumande Youth Services staff who shared the incredible work being undertaken by case workers to support young people experiencing housing instability,” he said.

Taldumande Youth Services Board Chair, Virginia Howard says the donated building supplies and trade skills for the garage conversion, building improvements and maintenance have made a world of difference to the not-for-profit organisation.

“Taldumande is so grateful to Lendlease FutureSteps because without their generosity Taldumande simply could not have afforded to do the building work”, she said.

Also, as part of the partnership skilled volunteers provided website marketing assistance and painted over 15 pieces of art to brighten up the rooms and communal spaces Taldumande Youth Services young people live in.

And the Lendlease Team facilitated a homewares collection drive to assist in providing furnishings, over 1,000 items were collected.

Taldumande Youth Services CEO, Lisa Graham says the assistance provided by Lendlease and its project partners have come at a vital time for Taldumande Youth Services.

“This year has been a difficult one for our organisation which has experienced an increase in the need for all the services we provide. Since February there has been a 51% increase in Domestic Violence impacted young people requiring our services and a 101% increase in mental health issues and the work carried out by Lendlease partners goes a long way in helping vulnerable young people.