Students help build safe places

Playground3 (Demo)

St Patrick’s Technical College is partnering with St Vincent de Paul Society to provide safe, secure spaces for some of the state’s most vulnerable children.

Students from the College will design and build a play area and dog accommodation for the Vinnie’s Women’s Crisis Centre in Adelaide.

The 21 room crisis centre provides all meals and serviced rooms as well as kitchen, laundry and computer facilities for women in crisis. The facility is a child-friendly, pet-friendly service and provides women in crisis access to practical services to rebuild their lives.

St Vincent de Paul Society’s Schools and Community Engagement Officer Jayne Short visited the College recently and met with the students and staff involved in the program.

The College will provide the design (in consultation with Vinnies), materials and labour. Other Catholic schools will help with fundraising for the project.

“I don’t know how we would do this play area without St Patrick’s Technical College being involved,’’ Ms Short said.

“It’s also really important for us as an organisation to have the opportunity to talk with students about domestic violence and have that conversation around it with young people.’’

The first project will be building the dog accommodation and play space before the playground project scheduled by 2019.

Ms Short said the centre currently homes about 30 children at a time with hundreds expected through the doors in the coming years.

“It’s very important to have a play area within the centre because women are frightened to access the public playgrounds. This playground will let the children play and the mums can relax. I know the play area will be fantastic and it will be very meaningful to our guests,’’ Ms Short said.

The Year 12 Building and Construction class will undertake the project. Year 12 and Religious Education Coordinator John Neate said the College was proud to be involved with the program which not only benefitted the families at the centre, but would help build students’ trade skills.

SA police field 400 calls per week around domestic violence.

The Vinnie’s Women’s Crisis Centre is supported by BankSA, West End Community Fund, La Donna Hygiene, CMV and RAA Security Services.