Running Wild is a Southern Moreton Bay Islands based not-for-profit, focused on providing social services for our community. We exist to support individuals and other local organisations, together helping to create a positive community for all.
Tired of hearing negative talk about young people on the islands – “haven’t they got anything better to do”, “why don’t they go fishing or something” and “in my day”, Running Wild was founded in 2013 to highlight a positive youth profile in our community.
Since then, programs have expanded to support families, the long-term unemployed, and other people in need, through direct training and employment programs as well as the creation of social enterprises designed to build a circular economy for our islands. We believe we achieve our best results working with other community organisations to make change happen together.
What we do
Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, help people access employment and training, or help the environment. In Queensland, there are hundreds of social enterprises operating all over the state, and we run three here on the islands.
Operating these social enterprises, Running Wild has been able to create nine jobs that didn’t exist before on the islands, and every cent of income goes back into achieving the objectives of the social enterprise, or helps support Running Wild’s overall mission to provide support services for the islands.
Training & Employment Programs
Whilst we don’t currently have any training and employment programs active, this area has been one of Running Wild’s most successful and rewarding contributions to our community.
This started with facilitating Work for the Dole in 2015, but the mainstay has been the Work Skills Traineeships under the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work program. Running since 2017, this program won Best Community Training Initiative of the Year at the Queensland Training Awards 2018. Most recently we have run Conservation Cadetships to support people with disabilities from the islands into further employment.
These programs provide paid employment opportunities for islanders, whilst they gain skills, experience and on-the-job training, as well as formal qualifications. Since 2017 more than 50 islanders have taken part in one of these programs, and more than 80% have gone on to long-term employment. The projects they work on, and the relationships they form also leave a visible and long-lasting impact on social infrastructure in our small, local community.
More than 250 young people have taken part in school holiday, creative arts programs, or youth mentoring over the last five years. This increases positive participation in the community, changing negative profiles, and allows us to link individuals and families to specialist supports.
In addition to our programs, Running Wild has had a “no wrong door” policy when it comes to people in need. All of our staff are trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, and our CEO and Founder is a qualified Youth Worker, and trained crisis response worker. With our existing relationships into mainland outreach services, we are able to support a person into the long-term care they need, and have been able to offer temporary food relief via our hospitality team.
Until recently we have been the only out of hours service that can respond to a crisis situation on the islands, bar the Ambulance and Police, but have to reduce this service, along with all referrals and non-social enterprise activity due to a lack of funding.
Rally around the Running Wild revival!
As you may be aware, Running Wild has never had access to core government funding to deliver support services to our community and much of our support has been offered voluntarily or by successfully delivering grant programs since 2015. Whilst we have been very successful in facilitating high quality programs in our community, we have always been just one unsuccessful grant away from reducing our scope of work.
It is with a heavy heart that we have reached this unfortunate milestone in July 2022 and now must reduce our services, to focus only on our social enterprises, whilst we continue to apply for funding and advocate for change.