Eight PCYC clubs have reactivated programs for vulnerable young people at risk following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Operation Restart saw the Broken Hill, Bourke, Dubbo, Orange, City of Sydney, South Sydney, Blacktown and Campbelltown PCYC clubs opened with limited services late last week.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott welcomed their return, praising the role PCYC clubs play in supporting vulnerable and at-risk youth.
“Many in our community have been doing it tough so I’m pleased that this important support is once again available,” Mr Elliott said.
“PCYC clubs provide a safe place for vulnerable youth, and now their most critical programs can return, after being adapted to meet requirements for hygiene and social distancing.
“These programs, such as the Fit for Work and Fit to Learn program, address disengagement from education and employment opportunities, and are vital to give our most vulnerable kids the best chance of success.”
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said PCYC clubs play an important role supporting our most vulnerable young people. “Many children and young people, in communities across our state, require additional support,” Mr Ward said.
“We want kids to have the very best chance in life and PCYCs do an outstanding job keeping at-risk kids healthy, active and engaged.”
NSWPF Assistant Commissioner Paul Pisanos said police officers have been reaching out to young people while the restrictions have been in place, providing welfare packages containing food items and hygiene products.
“Particularly during times of crisis, young people need guidance, support and skills to make the best life choices. Now, we’ve been able to recommence our important work with young people at eight PCYCs across NSW,” Mr Pisanos said.
PCYC NSW CEO Dominic Teakle said hygiene and social distancing processes have been implemented to allow young people back to eight PCYC clubs initially.
PCYC operates 64 clubs across the state, with more than 110,000 members and 70,000 youth members, allowing police to engage with community members through sporting, recreational, cultural and educational activities.
Eight more clubs in Albury, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong, Penrith, Auburn, Lake Macquarie, Kempsey and Taree are set to recommence similar programs next week.