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Empowered youth promote healthy eating

A GROUP of young community members have come together to launch a campaign on healthy eating, using the tagline: “Feed your body like it’s your best friend.”

The initiative is part of the 18-week Government-funded Backswing project provided by Colony 47 to southern Tasmania.

The project empowers youth and provides them with real workplace skills and project management experience.

The team of young adults took on the task of promoting a healthy eating campaign that targeted young people in the Glenorchy area.

“We found statistics that about 80 per cent of people in Glenorchy own dogs or pets and feed them way better than they feed themselves,” Backswing team member Caleb Jenkins said.

“So, we sat down and thought about the way we wanted to present that and we came up with: “If you wouldn’t feed your dog it, why would you eat it yourself.’”

The campaign was launched on 17 May with human billboards roaming through the Glenorchy CBD to encourage people to visit the website and join a competition for a chance to win a mobile phone.

The website was designed by members of the group to help them learn new skills to increase their chance of employment.

Sixteen-year-old Caleb said along with the competition, the website offered links to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and RSPCA’s recommendation on healthy diets for dogs, as well as a number of recipes for people to cook a healthy shared meal for themselves and their dog.

“The campaign involved a lot of research, a lot of networking and talking to people, but also a lot of fun creative stuff like website designs and putting together our posters – it’s just been all out fun,” he said.

“It’s taught me a lot about how to be a better person and how to act outside school.

“I’ve made a ton of new friends and I’ve enjoyed being around them.”

Backswing youth development coach David Combes said the Backswing project helped out-of-work youth gain skills for the future workplace and boosted their confidence.

“It allows them to discover and create themselves, and once they do that and they are creating work, they really care about it,” he said.

“It allows them to discover what abilities they have, where their strengths and weaknesses are, and how to work on those to improve their opportunity of employment.

“They’re really engaged, attendance has been fantastic and I think they’ve really got some value out of the program.”

Caption: From left, Zack Barry, Backswing youth development coach David Combes and Jasmine Osmond campaign for healthy eating in Glenorchy CBD.