Putting the brakes on disadvantage and crime
SINGLE mums, disadvantaged teens and the jobless will soon navigate a course to driving freedom.
Braking the Cycle, a program run by the Gladstone PCYC, will continue putting people in need on the road thanks to $22,000 funding from the Gladstone Area Promotions and Development.
PCYC branch manager Mick Newell said the program helped people who could not afford driving lessons, or did not have access to cars, reach the 100 hours of supervised driving required for a driver's licence.
Sergeant Newell said it also helped keep teenagers off the street.
Lessons are provided in two cars - the sedans are automatic and a manual.
"It works as crime prevention when kids are looking for something to do," Sgt Newell said.
"Youths can be socially excluded if they don't have a licence and employment opportunities really open up if they have one."
GAPDL chief executive officer Glenn Churchill said the aim was to provide positive outcomes and employment
"Everybody needs to be given an opportunity to reach their full potential," Mr Churchill said.
"How can a single mother, who only gets one hour of child care each week, accumulate the hours to get a licence?"
"We identify the need and we need to identify and implement the solution for the less fortunate."
The program started last year and five participants now have a driver's licence.
Among those graduates is Neil Rooney.
Mr Rooney said the program allowed him to get his licence, meet people in the community and be active in the workforce.
"A lot of people say they will take you for a drive but they never do," he said.
"I took 10 private lessons which cost me over $600 but then I got another 10 through the program for free."
BARRIERS TO DRIVING
- No access to a registered car.
- Driving lessons are too expensive.
- Parents do not have a licence.
- Disconnected from family.
- Parents are unavailable due to work.
- Time restraints due to children.