Artistic Treat at Wagga Buddies Day

St Sebastian’s Youth Conference in Wagga Wagga ran its first Buddies Day of the year in January, with the innovative activity of a ‘paint and sip’ children’s party. 

17 children aged from 5 to 12 years in need of a recreation opportunity enjoyed a day full of fun, artistic inspiration and showcasing of their talents at the Pinot and Picasso art studio in central Wagga.  

Shannan Carey, Youth Conference President, initiated the idea, inspired by the popular movement of painting parties where participants enjoy music, cheese and the chance to complete an artwork in one day.   

“This program is run by our amazing and very energetic Youth Conferences,” Ana Suarez, School and Youth Engagement Officer, said.  

Five members of the youth conference led the day, supported by Ana and staff members.   

Most ‘sip and paint’ experiences focus on completing one painting, guided by an experienced painter and on this occasion the painting was of a cute sloth. Children were free to paint another subject that inspired them.   

“It was kind of fancy!” Ana said.  

 While painting, the children sipped cordials and ate from grazing plates of meat, cheese and fruit, enjoying the sophisticated experience.  

 “It was really good, the children enjoyed it, though we won’t be able to afford to do a paint and sip very often.” 

 Buddies Days are especially for vulnerable families in the community, often facing financial hardship and emotional stress. 

 Recreation and joyful activities make a world of difference to families under pressure.   

 “With the high cost of living, people are struggling to take their children to the movies or bowling, so this is a chance for them to do something fun,” Ana said.  

 It’s also a great way for children facing these situations to have something special to share with their friends about their holidays when they return to school.  

 Parents and carers appreciate the break, having a chance to look after their mental health and stress.  

Previous Buddies Days in Wagga include enjoyable sports activities and outings to local sights, engaging with other children of similar ages, supervised and supported by their Vinnies buddies.  

 At the end of the first Wagga Wagga Buddies Day of 2023, all children were able to return home as the proud new owners of their very own painting.  

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