Wesley Mission has been reaching out to young people since 1889 when we established a ‘Boy’s Club’ at the Central Methodist Mission where young men could go for socialisation and education. The club began in response to a well-publicised and problematic ‘larrikin’ culture that Sydney was experiencing at the time. The Central Methodist Mission was keen to provide a safe place for young men to make friends and find help and guidance if they needed.
Since then Wesley Mission has looked out for young people and provided services tailored to their needs. Valuing and respecting young people, providing them with places to socialise and being there for them as they face the challenges of becoming an adult—these features became key features of Wesley Mission’s work.
A major youth outreach initiative undertaken by Wesley Mission was Teenage Cabaret, which began in 1960 and ran for ten years. It was based on the premise that the best way to reach young people was through pop music and dancing. Teenage Cabaret involved contemporary bands in Sydney performing to crowds of up to 800 young people.
Over the years Wesley Mission’s youth work was broadened in scope to encompass services such as counselling, accommodation, homeless services, employment training, adventure camps, church youth groups, community outreach programs and early intervention programs. Our services are constantly evolving to accommodate cultural shifts and expectations in the youth sector.
Wesley Youth Services run throughout Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle and Mid North Coast of New South Wales.