Technology for social justice
Four teenagers hanging out talking and smiling in a youth centre

Meet the service providers using Ask Izzy

Sunshine Youth Space

I use Ask Izzy to help me find support services for clients regularly. It saves me so much time.

Samita Rai, Sunshine Youth Space

Like a lot of people who work in the community sector, Samita Rai wears many hats.

Samita is the Youth Coordinator at Sunshine Youth Space in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. She manages the day-to-day running of the centre and coordinates programs that help young people feel engaged in their community.

Sunshine Youth Space offers a safe, apolitical and non-religious place for young people aged 12 to 25 to participate in free sports, art and other regular activities. The young people who use the space are reflective of the Western suburbs’ culturally diverse population.

As the only paid employee at the centre, Samita’s days are usually full of administrative tasks, coordinating volunteers and organising programs for young people in the community. She’s often the only one there if a young person needs help accessing support for things like their mental health or finding a safe place to stay. That’s why she loves Ask Izzy.

“I use Ask Izzy to help me find support services for clients regularly. It saves me so much time, especially because I’m so focused on the operational side of things and making sure there are enough programs available for the kids,” says Samita.

Samita began using Ask Izzy in 2018 and it's been an important part of her toolkit ever since. She says Ask Izzy has been crucial in helping her learn what support services are available in municipalities she's new to. When Samita worked at a Council in regional Victoria, it became such an essential tool in her work that she emailed all her stakeholders to let them know how much time it could save them too, and how it could help their communities.

“There are so many services and community programs popping up. Without Ask Izzy it would be hard to keep track of them all, especially if you’re new to an area or need to find a service in a suburb you’re not familiar with,” Samita saysSamita in at home during lockdown

Samita in her home office during one of Melbourne's lockdowns


Many of the young people that come to Samita at Sunshine Youth Space need multiple types of support. She says the most powerful thing about Ask Izzy is that you can specify the exact support you need in a particular area.

“For me, the most important thing is I can just put in the postcode, select the type of support my client is trying to access and Ask Izzy narrows the results right down so I can quickly provide the details to my client,” she says.

In between COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne, a young help seeker went to Sunshine Youth Space and asked Samita for help finding local support services. Samita listened to his story, knowing the pandemic was impacting many services in the sector. She says that Ask Izzy was the first place she thought of to look for help.

“He was experiencing a whole range of things, including homelessness and mental health issues, so I knew Ask Izzy would be the best place to start because it’s the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of services.”

Through using Ask Izzy, Samita connected her client to a youth worker who could provide him with holistic support. She also let him know that the website is there for him if he ever needs to find help in future.

“After we got him some help and connected him with the right service, I just reminded him that Ask Izzy will always be there if he needs to access help. I also made sure he knew that he could use it without using any phone data if  on the Telstra or Vodafone networks!” says Samita.

Find out more about Sunshine Youth Space.


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