New grant helps Tilbuster to grow

TOPS FOR ITS CROPS: Tyler Murray inspects the ears of corn with volunteers Phil Stevens, Julia Kryger and Nathaniel Keuntje.

TOPS FOR ITS CROPS: Tyler Murray inspects the ears of corn with volunteers Phil Stevens, Julia Kryger and Nathaniel Keuntje.

Troubled youths are set to benefit from a $44,000 grant to build a new workshop at Tilbuster Station.

The station is run by Pathfinders, which teaches at-risk youths animal husbandry, cropping and trade skills. 

A grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation means the station can now build its own workshop on the farm to house these training programs. 

Pathfinders chief executive Alan Brennan said the building should be operational by July.

Tilbuster Station project coordinator Charlie Winter said the new facility would allow him to run more training programs in areas such as literacy, numeracy, welding, wood work and animal husbandry.

Mr Brennan said the program would bring retired and farmers together with disadvantaged young people to teach them valuable skills. 

The foundation’s executive officer Jason Bourke said Pathfinders was awarded the money based on its potential to help young people.

“Pathfinders’ programs provide tangible and practical benefits for young people in Armidale who need an alternative form of education,” he said.

Mr Winter said between 15-20 young people visit Tilbuster Station every week. 

This year he hopes to have 300 youths take part in programs such as fence building and rejuvenating the farm’s creeklands. 

Mr Winter said he wanted to involve the city’s schools in these projects with whole classes coming to the farm, not just disadvantaged teens.

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