Behind a timber-battened frontage and landscaped coastal garden, you’ll find Jimmy’s Youth Wellbeing Sanctuary, a new purpose-built haven for young people located in the heart of Rosebud. A collaboration between philanthropist Sarah Darling, the Jimmy’s Foundation board, and YMCA Peninsula Youth Services, the facility aims to connect disadvantaged youth on the Mornington Peninsula with holistic health and support services to improve their mental resilience and wellbeing.
Upon a visit to Jimmy’s, the first thing you notice is the striking aesthetic of the two-story, dual-frontage building, designed in collaboration with the team at Co-op Studio. The architecture follows principles of self-regulation, with the facilities built around a serene central courtyard, a calming oasis that’s lush with native greenery. It’s a safe space where teenagers can connect with youth workers, volunteers and other young people in their community. With huge glass windows overlooking the courtyard, you’ll also find a social enterprise café, yoga room, gallery space and purpose-built accommodation for youth retreats on site.
Jimmy’s Foundation itself was set up to honour the life of James Henry Crawford, a budding young architect who tragically lost his life in April 2014 at the tender age of 33. To his family and close friends, he was known as Jimmy. With strong ties to the community and charitable organisations across the Mornington Peninsula, it became the intention of his mother and sister to find something of which James would approve, to carry his name.
An open-door policy means that all are welcome at Jimmy’s. Regular programs include youth camps, teenage health and wellbeing retreats, community mentoring, barista training, personal development and special interest programs teaching photography, writing and journalism. The sanctuary takes a complementary, holistic approach to wellbeing, offering a rotating schedule of visiting practitioners, including naturopaths, acupuncturists, and reiki masters.
For those looking to volunteer or support the programs, the hardworking team direct contributions to areas that resonate with the individual, instilling the community’s connection with the space and the diverse offering.
During lockdown, increased demand for their services saw the team pivoting to provide free meals for the community from their training café. Now that they’re able to reopen their doors and invite young people back into the centre, the friendly and highly qualified staff are encouraging teenagers who might be struggling with their mental health to drop in for a cuppa and a chat, and to see what’s on offer. The welcoming doors of Jimmy’s Youth Wellbeing Sanctuary are open from Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm.