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  • Writer's pictureBody of Wellbeing

'Empowering Futures' for teens at Upper Yarra Secondary College

We are pleased to announce that Body of Wellbeing Ltd was successful in obtaining a Community grant from Bendigo Bank Upper Yarra Community Enterprise to supplement the funding received from Yarra Ranges Council Community Development grant to work with Year 9 girls at UYSC in Terms 3 and 4 this year. My Body's Story - Empowering Futures will help promote positive body image and ongoing healthy behaviours and self-care practices, with the aim of prevention of body image distress, and prevention and early intervention of eating disorders.

With the additional funding we have received from UYCE we can extend this project to include local women artists acting as artist mentors to the students to help them find creative ways to share what they are learning about with the wider Upper Yarra community.  After the overwhelming success of our recent Body of Empowerment exhibition at the Waterwheel Gallery in March, we intend to develop a collaborative exhibition at the Waterwheel Gallery in 2025. We are building connections between the girls at Upper Yarra Secondary College that participate in our project and local women artists and writers, so that they can come together to spread the message to the wider Yarra Ranges community about the positive mental and physical effects of body love and acceptance.

Victorian Government data identified that the rate of eating disorders in the Yarra Ranges is alarmingly high and that this figure escalated during lockdowns. Prevalence of body dissatisfaction and weight stigma also increased during the pandemic. UYSC teachers have discussed with us the high level of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviours among their students, and the high uptake and influence of social media also compounds the problem.

We are so grateful to both Yarra Ranges Council and UYCE Bendigo Community Banks for believing in this project and helping us to address what is becoming a significant issue for young people in the Upper Yarra.

To find out what other local projects were funded, click here

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