SYC has worked for over 21 years in the South Australian Youth Justice System, helping young people change their trajectory and reduce re-offending. Our organisation believes significant changes can come from supporting youth to build pro-social connections and make positive contributions to society.

Recently established as a part of our Youth Justice Program, a community garden run at the SYC’s Elizabeth East office has generated excellent outcomes. Young people work under the guidance of our social workers or SYC staff to develop hands-on skills while fulfilling community service hours.

It is a great community, caring, and honest staff. I have taken some life skills with me. I enjoy painting and garden work very much. Both were very relaxing and kept me busy whilst giving back to the community.

Youth participant, Community Garden


This program supports young people completing their community service hours who often also face a range of other adversities such as homelessness, poverty and mental health challenges. Involvement allows participants to build positive social connections while also giving back to the community.

The harvest is collected with enthusiasm by the young gardeners and donated to Foodbank, Fred’s Van, and other community centres, contributing to people in need. Remaining produce can then be taken home by the young participants.


More than gardening experiences

The benefits of being a gardener and tending to plants are many. Young people can experience compassion, empathy, and organisation through caring for living things and being more aware of the environment. They gain confidence and agility by using tools and learning how to properly handle household chemicals. By tracking their own progress, it is possible to develop self-discipline through scientific observation.


To understand more about the benefits of the community garden, click here.
Is your organisation keen to sponsor this program? Please e-mail us at partnerships@syc.net.au today.