KING OF THE KIDS
HARD WORK INCREASES MEMBERSHIP AND STRENGTHENS HUB
PLANS forged by Mt Druitt PCYC are set to radically transform the local community by creating a hub of services that target the whole family unit.
Membership at the club has more than doubled to around 1600 this year after a concerted effort to attract parents into taking on lead- ership and other roles within sporting and other activities the centre offers.
Manager Lance Chaloner, who came to the club in November last year, believes real change cannot happen without the involvement of the whole family.
“Sport is the medicine that socially connects families and gives them energy. If we can get them as a group to come together, they will start to see what Dad and Mum have to offer and see how they can become their role models again,” he said.
Mr Chaloner has also garnered the support of other community organisations such as the Rotary and Lions clubs, Evocca College and Sarina Russo to provide a range of outreach services at the Luxford Rd centre once parents are engaged.
These will include mental health services, drug and alcohol counselling, health check-ups, and education and training counselling.
“Unless we get to the elders it won’t happen. It’s going to be instant delivery of advice they need on the spot or a very clear informative message of where to go, and we will monitor and back it up,” Mr Chaloner said. “It’s not a problem that’s going to be fixed immediately, but at least we’re put together some kind of solution to effectively help them in some way, rather than just ignoring it.”
The club has formed a football club with 13 teams this year, and has created boxing, wrestling and workout programs with the help
of a range of trainers and physiotherapists.
PCYC board director Errol Whiteley said the work of the club would divert children from being at risk of becoming involved in crime.
“There’s a massive need in this area – kids are looking for something that’s safe and fun and that’s why they are coming by the dozens,” he said. “Next year we’re looking at bigger numbers because they’re telling all their friends.”
Evocca College’s vocational placement officer, Dell Froio, said their students would be involved in delivering some services.
“The community needs it, and PCYC is a banner that people can come under and nobody knows what they’re coming here for,” she said.
Danielle Candrick from education and training provider Sarina Russo said the organisation would help provide pathways to employment for the community.
“We will identify any barriers to employment and work to address those barriers and move them to education if they need, but ultimately we will find people sustainable employment,” she said.
Mr Chaloner envisages the club becoming the hub of the community where everyone can come to find the help they needed.
“I’m proud of the fact we’ve changed the whole thing around and we’re doing what we’re doing in seven months,” he said.
“We’ve come from being at rock bottom to basically citing prospects of what we can build this town into, and this will be the centre of it.”
Lance Chaloner, pictured with some of Mt Druitt PCYC’s youngest members, has more than doubled numbers at the club and wants to turn it into a community hub.