Project Recycle at Willagee Community Centre embracing pedal power to help at-risk youth

Aaron Jones (10), Jahzara Hill (11) and Kyson Hill (10) are taking part in Project ReCycle.
Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au d470114
Aaron Jones (10), Jahzara Hill (11) and Kyson Hill (10) are taking part in Project ReCycle. Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au d470114

ABOUT 25 local youths are learning both life skills and life lessons through Project ReCycle, a mentoring program that teaches children how to rebuild a BMX bicycle.

At the end of the program, participants can keep one of the bicycles they have built and they donate two more to charity Bicycles for Humanity.

Project ReCycle aims to connect at-risk young people with a targeted, small-group program designed to build resilience, self-confidence and problem-solving skills.

Operating from the Willagee Community Centre, the 10-week program is at the halfway point.

Project ReCycle co-ordinator Corey Gaidzionis said the process of disassembling and then rebuilding a BMX bike taught participants bike skills and connected them with positive role models.

“For some kids, this might be the first time they have engaged in programs or services that are run through a youth centre and it’s a chance to make a real connection and make a real difference,” he said.

Participants are rewarded for positive behaviour, such as listening, following instructions and helping others, with “bike dollars” and the pretend currency can then be redeemed for upgraded parts like colourful pedals, grips and paint.

For more information about Project ReCycle, visit www.hope2day.org/projects/project-recycle or email corey.gaidzionis@hope2day.org.

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