The Wingspan Project was launched by Wayside Chapel in 2018 to take disadvantaged young people from at-risk to at-promise.
Wingspan provides training, education and employment pathways to young people between the ages of 17 and 25 who face barriers to employment. Wingspan is a holistic development program that provides work training alongside respectful and individualised support with one-to-one case management. It also integrates social connection and community activities to facilitate a young person’s sense of efficacy, autonomy and confidence.
The disadvantage faced by young people in the program can come from a range of factors including family breakdown, addiction, mental health issues and trauma. For a young person affected by these complex situations, it becomes increasingly difficult to access education. A lack of education and support often makes it harder to find employment. It is fast and easy to get caught in a cycle that can feel impossible to escape. Young people are struggling in a flawed educational system and are facing the very real prospect of being stuck in a generational cycle of unemployment and poverty.
Wayside Chapel believes there is a better way.
Wingspan has been designed to provide a safe space in which young people can identify and tackle the issues they face while undertaking accredited training modules and work experience. Wingspan participants then have the opportunity to be employed in the Heart Café – Wayside’s newest social enterprise project in Bondi Beach – in a 12-month traineeship, or other suitable work environments with follow up support from Wingspan case managers.
How Third Link is helping
Third Link has funded the Wingspan Project with a $180,000 investment over three years to conduct a research and evaluation project in partnership with the UTS Business School. UTS recently launched the Managing Hybrid Enterprises guidebook featuring academic research alongside Wayside Chapel’s practical experience of establishing the Heart Café and the Wingspan Project.