From supervising learner drivers to after-school sports, a 24-hour gym and cooking lessons, Cooktown’s PCYC provides a welcoming, fun environment for local youth and young adults.
“PCYC’s vision is to create safer, healthier communities through youth development,” PCYC Youth Club Manager Sergeant Dave Goode said.
“PCYC Cooktown is filling a vital role in the community by offering a broad range of programs and activities to engage and inspire our young people.”
The Breaking the Cycle program helps learner drivers complete their compulsory 100 hours of supervised driving to gain their P plates, with volunteer mentors supervising the drivers.
More than 230 driving sessions and over 6000km have been clocked up in the PCYC’s Breaking the Cycle vehicle, donated by the Cooktown Bowls Club.
The centre also runs a popular bike helmet safety program, handing out ice creams rather than fines, encouraging those who are doing the right thing to keep doing so and to spread the word among their friends.
“In addition the PCYC has also given away over 150 bike helmets and recently visited Bloomfield school and gave every student there a helmet as the program expanded into Bloomfield and Wujal Wujal,” Sgt Goode said.
Drop-in programs prove popular, with the PCYC open on weekday afternoons during school term with a range of free activities, including basketball, soccer, touch football and dance.
“Often we do several different activities at the same time, depending on the number of kids and supervising staff,” Sgt Goode said.
“We regularly get 30 kids each afternoon participating which is great.”
The Eat, Cook, Live program gets Sgt Goode in the kitchen showing off his cooking skills, helping to build rapport between youth and police while also sharing life skills including food and kitchen hygiene, food preparation and hands on cooking, finished with a shared meal.
The PCYC holds regular events, including discos, movie nights, laser tag and circus workshops, as well as hosting and supporting community events like NAIDOC Week, Under 8s Day and the Cardiac Challenge charity bike ride celebration dinner.
Sgt Goode said for him being a PCYC manager highlighted the positive side of policing.
“Police officers are there to help people, and the PCYC highlights that,” he said.
“I love helping young people to have a healthier and more enjoyable life through their positive relationship with the PCYC and our activities and programs.”