Tamworth is set to benefit from its own BackTrack program “to help youth at risk”, off the back of the new Container Deposit Scheme.
Challenge Community Services are urging residents to continue using their kerbside recycling collection, rather than looking to reclaim the ten cents per container themselves, as the service looks to completely fund the program from the scheme.
Like consumers, Challenge will receive ten cents per container they receive at the depot, estimating that to be in the vicinity of $400,000.
CEO Barry Murphy said the board recently decided that “all additional income will go to the new program.”
BackTrack was developed in Armidale by youth worker and jackaroo Bernie Shakeshaft in 2006, and has been kicking goals in the local community ever since, with the mission “To help as many young people having a hard time as possible.”
“It is for young people that have been suspended from school, and then suspended out of whatever program they are in after that. It is a program to keep them out of jail, because that is the path some of them are on,” Mr Murphy said.
“In Armidale the program has an unbelievably high success rate, they have two boys that were about to go to jail when it started who will now be starting university this year. Tamworth has an absolute need for it.”
Challenge Operations Manager Victor Collett will be at the helm of the new program, and is looking forward to what he expects to be a challenging task.
“Anything to help the community and keep kids on track and out of jail has to be good,” Mr Collett said.
The program will also be employing a full time qualified teacher, as well as a trade skills educator.
“You can make a positive contribution by just continuing to throw your cans and bottles in the yellow bins,” Mr Murphy said.
Article from the Northern Daily Leader, 5 January 2018.
Photo: Peter Hardin