Early Links Supporting Inclusion

Introducing the Fun Factory

Children learning cooking skills at the Fun Factory
Georgia Support Worker

By Georgia-Lee Malone

Youth Group Coordinator


I am excited to officially introduce The Fun Factory, our inclusive social group for older kids and teenagers. Our mission for The Fun Factory has been to create a safe space where young people can develop various life and workplace skills, receive support during life transitions, build self-esteem, develop social connections and, most importantly, have fun!

Launch of the Fun Factory

We first launched The Fun Factory during the July 2021 school holidays, which saw eight participants and a mix of our fantastic Early Links AHAs, trainees, and DSWs participate in various activities to learn life skills and build social skills connections. The program was a huge success – we were even lucky enough to visit Hunter Valley Zoo (with a memorable dingo encounter) and Revolution Trampoline Park, which we all loved. We also spent lots of time together back at the Kurri Kurri branch, where we cooked various delicious recipes, conducted exciting science experiments, made awesome tie-dye shirts and spent time getting to know each other.

The Fun Factory during lockdown

Beautiful friendships have developed during the first term of the Fun Factory, with many participants returning together for our Term 3 program. While Term 3 started promisingly – with two separate groups and 14 participants – lockdown meant we could not connect face-to-face. However, we were determined to allow the Fun Factory to continue, so we decided to run the program virtually! This saw participants pair up and complete a variety of games and activities via Telehealth, including more cooking, craft and lots of online competitions and UNO matches. We are so grateful that we could continue with the Fun Factory during this challenging time, albeit in a new direction.

Joining the Fun Factory these school holidays

We are so thrilled to welcome participants back face-to-face again after Christmas during the January school holidays!

If you are interested in signing up or would like to learn more about the program, please visit earlylinks.org.au/community-events/the-fun-factory/

The fun factory team

The Fun Factory Team

Making the Fun Factory possible

A huge thanks to the Department of Social Services, who awarded us a generous $42,000 grant to fund the Fun Factory through their ILC Building Program. Thank you so much to the incredible staff who have supported me in bringing the Fun Factory to life – Josh, Harry, Michaela and Caitlin. Finally, thank you so much to our wonderful participants – it is our absolute pleasure to have you with us at the Fun Factory.

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