Challenge's Backtrack program gets green light from Council

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Challenge Community Services were last week awarded the tender for the Tamworth Buyback Centre, but it is what they are planning on doing with it that stands to make a real difference to the local community.

Currently the Buyback Centre, known as Yacannabuybetta separates and sorts re-usable items from the Waste Management Facility and sells them back to the community, although is only open once a month.

Challenge, who already have the cities recycling tender, will use the funding earnt through the Container Deposit Scheme to educate, train and employ troubled youths through the Buyback business.

The Backtrack program, which was established in Armidale some years ago and boasts an incredible 87 per cent success rate will be adopted by Challenge, as a last stop to youths who are on the path to prison.

Originally the Backtrack program was going to be built behind the recycling centre on Forrest Road, Challenge CEO Barry Murphy has now decided to open the program in Taminda, and is currently selecting a premises so the program can begin within months.

“At the moment they are picking out items like bikes and timber, but we are going to take it all, and value add to it,” Mr Murphy said.

“As an example we will teach these youths how to fix the bikes, take the nails out and plane old timber to build cabinets – training and skills for employment.” 

While the program is still in the planning stage, the idea is to have the Buyback Centre open at least three days a week initially, and with guaranteed funding through the kerbside recycling and CDS program there is no plans to cap the intake of youths wishing to attend.

“We don’t want to pick and choose, we just want to open it and see who puts their hand up and wants to be involved,” Mr Murphy said.

“People are leaving cans and bottles in their recycling bins for us which is great, the jail is already collecting for us as well, and we have local businesses, like Parry’s Transport, on board.

“It is all looking quite fundable, and we hope to be up and running within months.” 

Article by the Northern Daily Leader, 27 April 2018. 

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About Challenge Community Services

60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disabilities. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 600 staff, 85 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, Challenge Community Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.
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