01 Nov 2019

Connecting and enriching our local Hornsby community

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Our Westfield living centres across Australia and New Zealand play an integral role in the lives of our customers and their local communities. Our engagement with our local communities is part of the reason we are that ‘third place’ for our customers, alongside their home and work or school.

Westfield Hornsby has been living and breathing these values with a series of ongoing initiatives to work collaboratively with disadvantaged and at-risk youth in the community. These initiatives aim to create a safe environment and build positive relationships between the young people, Westfield staff and local community organisations.

Risk & Security Supervisor, Glenn Wootton-Wilson, has led this work and championed Westfield Hornsby as a key community partner that works alongside local youth organisations to positively impact the community.

“We’ve really felt the positive impact of our youth engagement program, with our retailers experiencing reduced crime and the centre being a safer environment for all of our customers with less unruly youth behaviour,” Glenn said.

“The community organisations we’ve partnered with now consider Westfield Hornsby an essential connection to their community. And hopefully in connecting our community, we’re helping to build a more resilient community.

"Of course, it’s also having a real impact on these young people’s lives to have support and education opportunities in a safe space – you can see the positive change in their attitudes.”

In recognition of the commitment and passion for his local community, and the success of the centre’s youth engagement program, we recently recognised Glenn internally as a Scentre Group Safety Hero.

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Mission Australia’s Northern Sydney Youth Case Manager, Jeni Hayes said the Northern Sydney Youth Homelessness Service valued the collaborative relationship it had with Glenn and the team at Westfield Hornsby.

“We share a common goal of helping young people so they can easily access assistance and feel safe. This is evidenced by Westfield Hornsby’s participation in local interagency, community projects, as well as the support they have given our team in our initiative to connect with young people at risk in the centre each week.”

Some of the recent programs our Westfield Hornsby team has championed alongside local community groups include:
  • Shazam Movie Screening: Rewarding the local youth who have improved their behaviour and joined a local organisation such as Street Work, PCYC and Mission Australia.
  • Sizzle in the mall – under 25s BBQ: Promoting the services of 15 youth organisations with local young people.
  • Fit for change and fit to learn: A series of educational programs that are part of the NSW Police Commissioner’s RISEUP strategy (www.riseup.org.au), promoting the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise to build confidence and self-esteem with young people. The programs address drug and alcohol use, as well as seek to equip participants with key skills around anger management, emotional intelligence and resilience.
  • Graffiti ‘TAXI’ mural: Partnering with Street Work to support the local disadvantaged and at-risk youth to express themselves through art, music and dance.
  • PCYC Fitness and self-building workshop: Working with PCYC to run an eight-week fitness program for local youth.
Senior Constable Youth Case Manager at Hornsby PCYC Youth & Crime Prevention Command, Paul Godfrey, said the PCYC worked with Police and community to empower young people to reach their potential.

“We’re getting young people active in life. We’re developing their skills, character and leadership. In doing so, we’re reducing and preventing crime by and against young people,” he said.
 

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