Supporting PCYC “Second Chance Program”
12th September 2022: Our first Vocational Visit for "Imagine Rotary" Year 2022-23 was held with a tour of PCYC Taree. Around 14 Rotarians conglomerated at PCYC for a tour led by Donna Lumantas-Hooke who replaced Justin Hayes as PCYC Manager.  Donna patiently explained and answered all questions regarding the various Youth Programs happening in PCYC - which stands for Police Citizens Youth Clubs. 


PCYC programs aim to give young people practical, real life skills that they can apply to work, family and their community. Their sports and youth programs aim to build on young people skills and character through training and mentoring, creating young leaders of the future. 

1.  "Fit for Life Program" is an early intervention program designed to engage youth ages 10 to 17 who are at risk of poor choices and anti-social behaviour. Through physical fitness, nutrition and social engagement, Fit For Life aims to improve overall wellbeing as well as prevent and divert youth from offending behaviours. Currently involves 15-25 kids per day, and is provided 3x/wk in Taree and 2x/wk in Forster. 

2.  "Fit For Work" is a program designed to holistically address a young person’s disengagement from their family, education and employment opportunities, to help reduce and prevent their involvement in anti-social behaviour and/or crime. This will ultimately lead to increased employment opportunities for a cohort that traditionally is reflected in high unemployment statistics. Aimed at youth aged 15-17 years.

3. " Fit Together" is a co-designed program developed with each local community to prevent and reduce reoffending, as well as encourage positive relationships between local Police and the Aboriginal community. Fit Together aims to instil confidence, increase self-esteem and help Aboriginal youth reach their full potential. Aimed at youth aged 10-17 years.
Of particular interest to our club is PCYC's SECOND CHANCES PROGRAM – RE-ENGAGEMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLE.  Below is an overview provided by previous Manager Justin Hayes:

Taree currently have a number of young people within the area who are well known to the community. These young people have in and out of the judicial system and disengaged from the Education system for an extensive period of time . There are very limited options available for these young people and they are likely to continue in and out of juvenile detention if there is no significant change to their current daily situation. The cost of detaining one young person in juvenile detention In NSW is $1,344 a day.

Program Structure:
Second Chances is a program facilitated by PCYC to offer these young people a “second chance”. The program hinges on the young people making connections with the mentors and facilitators and learning new skills and increased confidence to re-engage with school and/or secure a job. The boys are engaged weekly on a Wednesday from 9am-3pm and participate in a range of activities within the community. They are also supported with transport to and from pre-arranged medical appointments and other support service meetings. These include fishing, bike riding or other structured activities facilitated through external agencies. This program will also allow the introduction of external services that provide opportunities to the boys they wouldn’t ordinarily use, for example, counsellors, speech therapists etc as these needs are identified.  On a Friday and Saturday night they will be offered the opportunity to attend the PCYC as part of the programs that are run from there.

This is the second term that the program has been running and in this time the participants have been consistent and come on a regular basis. The program has supported the young people with accessing dentists, doctors and mental health services. There is now a wait list of young males who wish to come to the program.

The role is managed by a youth mentor and a youth mentor support officer. Police also attend each session to help support the breakdown of negative associations the young people have towards them. The program will support with Education, which while not designed by Dept of Ed it will help address some of the literacy and numeracy gaps identified in the YP’s. The program is also helping in the support of Life Skills including preparation and cooking of food, shopping, handling and saving money, basic construction work around the school, landscaping skills. Ultimately the program has the potential to make some extremely positive changes towards the lives of these young people who are most likely going to find themselves in a life of incarceration.

Program Cost:
Current funding for the program has been supported through small amounts PCYC has been able to secure to part fund the program for 1 school term. We currently have a funding gap of $15,000 to secure the delivery of the program through till the end of 2022. Any support Rotary is able to offer to support the programs continuation would be appreciated.

If you remember at our Christmas in July Masquerade Ball, we aimed to raise funds towards helping our local delinquent youth - we raised $4,500 AUD. After learning of the PCYC Programs, the Board of Rotary Club of Taree have decided to tie-up with PCYC and donate the funds raised through our Christmas in July Masquerade Ball - towards their Second Chance Program.  We surprised Donna  after the PCYC Tour on Monday the 12th of September with a Presentation of Cheque donation from our club in the amount of $4,500.  Further offer of human resource/skills in the provision of structured activities for the high offending youth ie 4wdriving, woodworking at MenShed, sports activities will be under discussion by committee led by Youth Service Director Susie Ploder, Col Rose, David Denning and President Grace Maano in coordination with Rotary Lower MidCoast Club via Past President Lance Fletcher.

 Left pic:  PCYC Manager Donna receiving cheque from President Grace Maano

Above pic: Dr Col Rose, Youth SErvice Director Susie Ploder, PCYC Manager Donna Lumantas-Hooke, PCYC Police Cheryl, and Community Service Director David Denning