(Photo was taken prior to Covid-19 social distancing measures)
6am might be an early start for most teenagers but it has brought about positive change to participants in Belmore Police Citizens and Youth Club’s (PCYC) Fit for Life program.
The early morning youth intervention weekly program, funded by a $8,580 donation from Canterbury League Club, was created to improve participants’ school engagement and social inclusion.
“Every Tuesday morning [during the program], participants were collected from their homes by volunteers and transported to PCYC where they had time to play sports or use the gym. After that, they showered and hung out with police officers and case workers over breakfast before getting dropped off at school,” said Andrew Shenouda, Belmore PCYC Club Manager.
The program was supported by youth liaison workers from Belmore PCYC and Barnardos, and police officers from Campsie and Ashfield Police Area Command.
“It was great for the police to be involved and show a more human side. Our young people can see that we relate to them – we just want to see them achieve their best whether it’s in the gym, the classroom or just turning up and eating Weet-Bix with us,” said Angus Humphrey, police officer and Youth Case Manager at Belmore PCYC.
“Feedback from participants was very positive. Participants always tell us this is one of the best parts of their week and how they have forged great friendships with other participants.”
“This program helped empower young people to make positive choices in their lives and build confidence and self-esteem. This is turn has a positive effect on their personal and school lives; improving their interactions with the community, and reducing anti-social behaviour,” said George Coorey, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.