Youth crime takes a holiday

At front centre is: Kristee Jolly (Executive Support Officer at the Shire of Toodyay) with students L-R: Luke Gleeson (6), Sam Martin (5), Mitchel Baker (10), Molly Dickson (12), Mia Hughes (7) and Brooke Jones (11). Toodyay focus. Kristee is a finalist in the WA Child Safety Employee Awards. Picture: David Baylis d439697
At front centre is: Kristee Jolly (Executive Support Officer at the Shire of Toodyay) with students L-R: Luke Gleeson (6), Sam Martin (5), Mitchel Baker (10), Molly Dickson (12), Mia Hughes (7) and Brooke Jones (11). Toodyay focus. Kristee is a finalist in the WA Child Safety Employee Awards. Picture: David Baylis d439697

TIRED of hearing youngsters complain about �boring� Toodyay, forward-thinking Shire employee Kristee Jolly decided the time was ripe to launch a school holiday program with something for everyone.

The 23-year-old Shire of Toodyay executive support officer contacted Inclusion WA and set the wheels in motion.

�Back then (December) we had nothing for kids to do in the school holidays and a police presentation to council showed we had the highest youth crime rate in the Wheatbelt at that time; it was quite a spike,� she said.

The former Toodyay District High School student attributes the success of the new school holiday program and subsequent crime reduction to engaging youth with their local community groups.

A host of action-packed and alternative school holiday attractions begin on July 13, with full details available on the Shire of Toodyay website.

�In the past we�ve offered sport and recreational-type activities, but following feedback, this time we�re offering a wider variety of attractions like tree-planting, a recycling art project, dance and Catch Music,� Ms Jolly said.

The free Catch Music session is for all ages and takes place on July 13, noon-1.30pm, at Toodyay Memorial Hall.

Musicians from the Act-Belong-Commit Midland Catch Music session will host the showcase, following which a weekly term session will be led by local musician and music teacher David Flowers.

�This is such an exciting initiative for Toodyay,� Ms Jolly said.

�We have nothing that is similar to this and I see Catch Music adding great value to our entire community.�

Ms Jolly�s commitment to helping children and youth has earned her a place in the line-up for a child safety employee award from the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation.