Youth worker retires
SOME kids felt they didn't have a life until they met Annette Rushby.
It was a surprise farewell for Ms Rushby at the Jetty Bunker Youth Service premises yesterday to honour 15 years of service to Coffs Harbour youth, and Annette's daughter summed up what many people wanted to say about her.
The Jetty Bunker Youth Service is a medium-term crisis accommodation service for homeless youth.
The centre offers accommodation for up to three months and also crisis accommodation with two overnight beds for emergency situations.
Funded by the Federal and State governments, the service originally began as the Coffs Harbour Youth Refuge where Ms Rushby was initially employed as one of the first outreach workers in NSW after the Berdikin Report.
Two years ago the Youth Refuge and the Coffs Harbour Youth Housing and Support Services almagamated into what is now the Jetty Bunker Youth Service and Ms Rushby filled the role of co-ordinator for the service.
The Families Strategies Program works with families to help the young person stay at home or to help identify if the person needs to find accommodation.
"When I started working in the Youth Refuge the first average age for kids becoming homeless was 17 to 18," Ms Rushby said.
"Now it is more like 14 or even 13. That's very sad."