Youth program building confidence

Published 2:00pm 16 August 2022

Youth program building confidence
Words by Jodie Powell

A program designed to support young people in the Moreton Bay Region has welcomed two new team members.

PUSH! is Younity Community Services’ youth development program, which uses bicycle mechanic activities and mentoring to help young people with social skills, building confidence and connecting to educational and vocational activities.

Jason Cook has joined Younity as the PUSH! Enterprise enterprise manager, while Travis Coyne is the new PUSH! Enterprise engagement manager.

Jason says PUSH! aims to connect with young people through a shopfront at Deception Bay’s Market Square, as well as visits to schools and with a mobile bus.

“We’re taking the bus to skate parks and schools,” he says.

Connecting with community

Young people working with PUSH! restore bicycles to be donated to the community and Jason has plans for expanding the project with a focus on reusing, reducing and recycling.

“We’re eventually looking at turning it into a social enterprise – a general fix-up program – I’m a sparky by trade,” Jason says.

“I want to start up a She Shed to teach basic maintenance and how to use tools.

“With vapes there are lithium batteries which can be repurposed to use in phones and e-bikes.”

Jason says PUSH! is working closely with centre management at Market Square to encourage young people to visit the shopfront.

“It’s to help the relationship with the shopping centre and get young people taking a bit of ownership of the area.

“We’re working closely with QPS, Youth Justice and local schools and we’re working with families as well – it’s a community.”

Travis says having the Market Square space available Monday-Friday gives young people a place to connect.

“It will encourage conversations with people who want to know what’s happening,” he says.

“It was originally for young people doing a Cert 1 and now it’s into two streams – the enterprise component and the other branch is engagement and early intervention.

“For me, being an Indigenous man, the beauty with Younity is that everyone’s included, which eliminates conflict as well.”

A space to belong

Younity Youth Services program manager Danielle McQuade says the space is perfect for diverse activities that encourage positive community engagement, such as the bike restoration program.

“Obviously we want to build more and engage more in early intervention,” she says.

“We donate the bikes back to the community.

“Public transport is lacking, so it can change someone’s ability to attend school or work or attend programs.

“The passion in Deception Bay is they’re all creating a positive and inclusive community."

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