Program to drive change
A NEW PCYC flagship program is arriving in Bowen that will help disadvantaged youth in gaining their driver's licence.
The Braking the Cycle program is a volunteer driver mentor program designed to support learner drivers without access to a supervisor or registered vehicle to complete their logbook hours.
The aim of the program is to provide young people with greater job opportunities, community connection and driver education.
Braking for Change program state manager Angela Watts said that Bowen would be the 42nd location that the program, which has enjoyed tremendous success elsewhere, has been rolled out.
"The program is more than just getting these youths their licence, it's about allowing them the opportunity to move forward in their lives," Ms Watts said.
"Since the programs induction in 2012, we've seen that around 75 to 85 per cent of all graduates will move on to further education or gain employment within three to six months of completion, which is an amazing outcome."
Ms Watts said that the program had been recognised at local and international levels as being extremely successful in improving not only driver safety, but also helping the wider community.
"We've been honoured to be recognised at Australian Road Safety Awards, Queensland Reconciliation Awards and Regional Achievement & Community Awards," Ms Watts said.
"Most recently we were celebrated on the international stage as well when we were named a winner of a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in December last year."
Sergeant Michelle O'Regan, PCYC manager, said that the program was able to help the community in more ways than obtaining a licence by alleviating the barriers some may face.
"I've been really trying to get this program off the ground for a few years as I really think it helps so many people in so many ways,'' Sgt O'Regan said.
"The people who come out of this are safer drivers than their peers, which is a bonus for the local community.
"The funding for the program has also allowed us to put on a new part time worker who will be overseeing its success."
Bowen PCYC are now looking for volunteers who may be able to help with mentoring, as well as sponsorship for cars to teach in.
"Now that we know the program is coming to Bowen we're looking for members of the community to help with mentoring," Sgt O'Regan said.
"You can volunteer 1 hour a week, or 20, whatever you have spare to help out.
"We're also looking for a sponsor, or sponsors to come on board and help us fund some cars for the students to learn on."
Anyone who is interested in assisting as part of the program can contact Bowen PCYC at 4786 1383