PCYC Logan using restored bikes to steer young Logan lives in the right direction

Facilitated in conjunction with the Logan New Directions team, PCYC Logan is using restored bicycles to help young people in Logan to steer their lives in the right direction.

PCYC Logan branch manager Sergeant Mick Newell recently approached Acting Inspector Grant Ralston of Logan New Directions and Logan Child Protection & Investigation Unit, with the idea of restoring bicycles and giving them to young people in the community.

“Logan Central Police Station has dozens of bicycles forfeited each week. After a period of time if these bikes go unclaimed, they are donated to PCYC Logan,” said Sergeant Newell.

“Given I’m an avid cyclist and both myself and Assistant Branch Manager Senior Constable Cherie McLean are handy with fixing bikes, I wanted to create a pathway for restoring these bikes, and supplying them to young people in need,” he said.

“Acting Inspector Grant Ralston immediately understood the opportunities this presented for helping young offenders and introduced me to the Logan New Directions team.”

Established in August 2019, the Logan New Directions team consists of five representatives from government agencies including Queensland Police Service, Youth Justice, Department of Child Safety, Queensland Health and Education Queensland.

“The aim of this joint collaboration is to identify young offenders aged between 10 to 15 years and provide them with positive pathways and opportunities to prevent recidivism, and ultimately keep our community safe,” said Acting Inspector Ralston.

“The Logan New Directions team works together to involve identified young people in prosocial activities like school, employment and programs offered by PCYC Queensland and other community organisations like Youth Off The Streets,” he said.

“When Sergeant Newell suggested the idea of giving restored bikes to young offenders I thought it was a great opportunity to provide a mode of transport to help them engage with prosocial activities in the Logan community, as well as being a positive reward for those young people who are really making progress.”

Logan New Directions team member and Child Safety Officer, Taylor Johnson, is thrilled with the outcomes of the bike restoration program at PCYC Logan and says three bikes have been awarded in just three weeks.

“This program is really thinking outside the box and acknowledges that all our agencies can work together to provide wholistic support for our young people in Logan, many of whom are vulnerable and have complex needs and don’t necessarily fit into mainstream programs,” said Ms Johnson.

“Programs like this introduce our at-risk young people to safe, reassuring places they can go to get support, build relationships and improve their community connections. I know one of the first bike recipients was so excited as she was struggling to attend school without transport, and now the bike will help her reengage with schooling,” she said.

Boosted by the success of the initiative, PCYC Logan intends to introduce a Bicycle Restoration Program once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and club activities and programs can resume.

“The Bicycle Restoration Program will offer young people the opportunity to come along and learn how to fix their bikes, while providing a safe drop-in space, purpose and life skills in the process,” said Sergeant Newell.

“As a former National Road Cycling Champion and National Time Trial Champion, riding is a passion of mine and I love seeing young people out and about riding. Bike riding helps your mental health, your physical health, prevents traffic congestion and helps the environment along the way. What more can you ask for!”