PCYCs across the state will be rejuvenated as part of a bigger plan to save a generation of kids from becoming radicalised, joining gangs, or falling into criminal activity.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller made the announcement this week, saying if police can put the same energy into prevention that they do in response to crime, there was a chance they “can save a generation of kids.”
Under the plan, Mr Fuller will mobilise the state’s 64 PCYCs and more then 150 youth liaison officers who work with some of the state’s most vulnerable teens.
Club manager of the Bathurst PCYC, Dave Hitchick said the announcement comes off the back of the PCYC state conference, held a fortnight ago, where the new five-year strategic plan was unveiled.
Mr Hitchick said the aim of the Bathurst PCYC was to empower young people by providing great quality activities in a safe environment.
The club is home to Bathurst’s premier Gymnastics facility, now with two giant Olympic trampolines, it still runs a wide range of sports including Boxing, Judo, Self Defence, Laser Tag, court based ball sports, and Bathurst’s best School Holiday programs.
The revenue it raises through these activities then enables it to run other programs, which specially help kids at risk.
In the two years he’s been at the PCYC, Mr Hitchick said he has seen first hand the difference PCYCs make in the community.
One of many programs they run is on Friday nights, when anywhere up to 45 kids, aged 11 to 15 come together for a free night of fun, games and pizza, they get to hang out with positive role models and develop a sense of community with each other, and the PCYC.
Mr Hitchick said the youth case manager also works with kids at risk, and help these young people recognise their sense of value and purpose.
“I can’t say we’ve turned everyone around but we’ve had some great victories, in addition to the reduction of criminal activities, in some, we’ve had young people able to work down fines through volunteering at our club” he said.
“Not only does it encourage a sense of community for the child at risk, it also helps break the cycle of re-offending,” he said.