At the start of 2018, Bonds joined forces with Reach, the powerful and inspiring youth organisation that gives young Aussies the emotional and social tools to navigate life’s challenges and stand up for what they believe in. As a brand that’s all about being comfortable in your own skin, Bonds is honoured to partner with an organisation as ground-breaking as Reach.
Reach was founded by Jim Stynes and Paul Currie in 1994 with a pretty clear vision – to inspire young people to believe in themselves and get the most out of life.
Being a teenager can be tough. Reach recognises this, and by tackling challenges faced by young people, whether it be mental health, peer pressure, racism, a lack of confidence or something else, they equip teens with the tools to combat anything life throws at them.
Through their life-changing workshops and programs, run 100% for and by young people, they aim to build confidence, teach self-awareness and encourage passion.
Since 1994, Reach has grown beyond Jim and Paul’s wildest dreams – with hubs in Melbourne and Sydney and tens of thousands of young people across Australia participating in workshops each year, with demand only continuing to increase.
Bonds and Reach teamed up in 2018 to roll out the Reach Secondary School Workshop program to over 20,000 young people from years 7-12, across 400 workshops in more than 120 schools across NSW and VIC.
By partnering with Reach, we are helping to fund the expansion of their workshops into much-needed regional areas and support the training of new staff.
2018 funded initiatives
• 231 secondary school workshops in Victoria,100 in NSW and 65 in the Hunter Valley.
• Two additional trips to Alice Springs each year.
• One trip to Robinvale and Mildura in 2018.
• 36 regional workshops.
• Training for 24 new Reach Crew members.
Secondary School Workshops are the backbone of Reach’s work and its largest portfolio of programs in terms of participant numbers, so we are stoked to be involved.
In 2019, we’re thrilled to continue this partnership to help support them in delivering their awesome work. This year, in addition to our funding, we’ve focused on increasing the visibility on the organisation, bringing awareness and support to their programs.
We kicked off the year with Bonds x Reach Reusable Tote Bags, available in all Bonds retail stores across Australia. Not only was this a great way to fund their work, but also helped us kick one of our environmental goals for the year!
We also partnered with young local artists to bring to life the core values that drive Reach; Stay Young, Give A Sh*t, Be Your Word, Speak Your Truth, Practice The Magic, and Inside & Out.
Later this year we’re sending GoPros along for the ride to the Northern Territory with 2 Reach Crew members, capturing the impact and experience of a regional workshop in awe-inspiring Alice Springs.
With more great initiatives and programs being rolled out through the year with our full support, we can’t wait to see what Reach turns their magic to next.
For a greater insight into the work of Reach we caught up with one of its members, Emmett, to discover what being part of the Crew means and how Reach is impacting the lives of young people across the country.
Q: What is Reach?
A: The coolest thing about Reach is that it can be whatever the Crew want it to be. We design the programs, we run the work and we train the next generation, so Reach is really just a place where young people can come together to inspire each other to be the best version of ourselves we can.
Q: What is your role as a Crew member?
A: The job description would probably say 'running and designing the programs that Reach runs.' But really as the Crew, our only role is to be ourselves and to connect with other young people.
Q: What made you want to get involved in Reach?
A: When I was 15, Reach came and ran a workshop at my high school. There was a chair at the front of the room and they asked if anyone would get up and sing a song in front of the whole group, and even though I saw myself as a pretty confident and musical kid (perfect combo, right?) I was still too scared to jump up. I realised that for what felt like the first time in my life, I could speak honestly about how I felt at school and in my life. After the workshop, I was asked to be part of Crew, where I could train and run workshops like this around the country – I’ve been hooked ever since!
Q: What's been your favourite memory as a Crew member?
A: Hearing from a participant, who I ran a program for, speak up several months later about the effect it had on his life and who he wanted to become.
Q: How would you describe the Reach purpose?
A: Young people giving permission for other young people to express themselves however they want to, and believing in them every step of the way.
Q: Why do you think Bonds and Reach are great partners?
A: There are so many metaphors about what we have going on in our lives underneath the surface that makes Bonds and Reach fit so well! But really, I think that so many people wear Bonds, or know the brand, that it gives the Crew hope that one day we could reach out to so many more young people and offer them the same opportunities that we have received.
Q: What's your favourite part of being in the Crew?
A: The honest connections I’m able to make with the people I meet and to see the impact of the programs that we work so hard to create.