Business and civic leaders do time to help PCYC stop youth crime in the Illawarra

Doin time: Bulli PCYC's Maddy Holz, Wollongong PCYC's Jeleasa Russell, Wollongong Legal's Darren Chennell and Rotary's Menchie Lowe. Pic: Robert Peet.
Doin time: Bulli PCYC's Maddy Holz, Wollongong PCYC's Jeleasa Russell, Wollongong Legal's Darren Chennell and Rotary's Menchie Lowe. Pic: Robert Peet.

Civic leaders, politicians and members of the business community found themselves locked up in Crown Street Mall on Friday to raise funds for PCYC programs that help youth in the Illawarra.

It was the first time Rotary Club of Wollongong's Menchie Lowe had done Time For Kids but it was not the first time Wollongong criminal lawyer Darren Chennell found himself behind bars for the cause.

Mr Chennell has volunteered to help the PCYC for the last nine years. Along with raising money by doing time to stop youth crime he helps lecture a program at Lake Illawarra and Bulli.

"It is a really good initiative that hopefully stops young people becoming my clients," he said.

"There are some really good role models for kids. It really does assist disadvantaged youth. It is good to be involved and give back to the community. I've had clients that this has really helped keep out of trouble. By getting involved with PCYC it does make a difference".

Senior Constable Darren Palk said it was about his 15th year with the event that has helped the PCYC do so much.

"The highlight really for me is when I see young people make really good choice. I have seen that a number of times which is really rewarding," he said.

"PCYC is not for profit and the money raised here will go to youth programs and equipment," he said.

"Every cent raised here today will go straight to Bulli or Wollongong PCYC".

Wollongong PCYC club manager Matthew Bourne said people can still donate online to financially support police youth diversionary programs.

PCYC is a not for profit organisation that seeks to get kids active in life, promote youth leadership and reduce youth crime through sports, arts and educative programs.

"We have two police youth case managers attached to our club who work tirelessly with young people that have become exposed to crime," he said.

"The police build a positive mentoring relationship with the youth and the PCYC Wollongong provides the resources necessary for their work including an office, vehicles and funds to cover activities, food and other program costs".

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This story Doing time to help stop youth crime in the Illawarra first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.