How Rotary, TAFE, the Police, Cunningham MP Sharon Bird and local clubs are helping Wollongong youth

Wollongong Rotary has helped PCYC secure a 12-seater bus decked out with partner logos by signage and graphics students at Wollongong TAFE.

New wheels: Wollongong Rotary Club president Leigh Robinson and Snr Const Cate Johnston with Blue Star Citizenship Program participants Tayah Spears and Tamika Burgess, PCYC manager Michael Jones, Snr Const Darren Palk. Picture: Greg Ellis.

New wheels: Wollongong Rotary Club president Leigh Robinson and Snr Const Cate Johnston with Blue Star Citizenship Program participants Tayah Spears and Tamika Burgess, PCYC manager Michael Jones, Snr Const Darren Palk. Picture: Greg Ellis.

The second-year students were led by teachers Ian Squire, Peter McAulay and Michael Doherty.

Snr Const Darren Palk said the bus will be used by PCYC and community groups to support youth. “We will feel proud driving around the in the vehicle. It is a great way to showcase the organisation”.

Snr Const Cate Johnston said it was also an invaluable resource for Police programs and “to be able to take the young people around that we work with and give them a safe option of getting home”.

The $50,000 was raised with the help of Cunningham MP Sharon Bird who applied for a $20,000 grant from the Stronger Communities Fund and $11,000 came from ETC Community Support Fund. Local Registered Clubs also helped. 

Wollongong PCYC manager Michael Jones said the new bus “is going to be fantastic for the young people who use the club. It will also help get the name out into the community and show the great work we do at PCYC. The bus is used for our club activities and programs and supports out community partners”.

Wollongong Rotary Club president Leigh Robinson said it was great to see the finalisation of a project where Rotary had helped donate a bus and TAFE had helped with signage.

Rotarian Dot Hennessy said club members and PCYC committee members had worked tirelessly to initiate and support a very diverse range of programs for youth,

“A recent example of the team’s passion and dedication was the TIME4KIDS fund-raiser held in Crown Street Mall, Wollongong, in April, where all were involved in the preparation and overall success of the day raising almost $9000,” she said.

“Since 1952 when the PCYC was first established, the club has continued to grow and develop a very strong presence. Current programs include the safer drivers course for learner drivers, the RMS approved course; training in boxing, weights, gymnastics, archery, fitness and street soccer, low cost tutoring program K-12 and Blue Star citizenship and leadership.”

Among those on hand to welcome the bus when it arrived were Blue Star Citizenship Program participants Tayah Spears and Tamika Burgess.

The diverse range of programs at PCYC includes the popular Twilight Tournaments which will start again in Term 3. It involves youth coming to the centre from school on a Friday afternoon to play a competitive sport. They also get to participate in a personal development, life-skill activity, enjoying a healthy dinner with each participant being returned to his/her home at the end of the night. Rotary is a major supporter of this event.

Video: Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery and Wollongong Rotarian Dot Hennessy Doing Time For Kids in Crown Street Mall in April.