PCYC Braking the Cycle, the volunteer learner driver mentor program supporting young people to obtain their licence, is changing the lives of both mentors and participants at PCYC Mareeba.
Braking the Cycle is PCYC Queensland’s state-wide program that pairs learner drivers with volunteer mentors, who support them to undertake 100 hours of supervised on-road driving experience in order to achieve their driver’s licence.
PCYC Mareeba branch manager Sergeant Mary-Anne West is proud of the program, which has been running since August 2018 with support from Rotary.
“PCYC Braking the Cycle not only empowers disadvantaged young people to obtain their licence, it also increases a young person’s employment and education opportunities,” said Sergeant West.
“Our mentors offer more than just practical instruction, they help young people improve their self-esteem and encourage positive community connection,” she said.
One such volunteer Michael is proud to be a Braking the Cycle mentor, and enjoys getting to know the younger drivers.
“Being a mentor allows me to pass on my knowledge, experience and wisdom that comes from many years of driving, and it is really rewarding to educate young drivers about the consequences of bad decisions, and help them make good choices on the road,” said Michael.
“You can volunteer as much or as little time as you can spare, and you can offer support at times that fit flexibly around your life,” he said.
Former participant Zach who has recently gained his licence through the program, strongly encourages community members to volunteer any spare time they can.
“The mentors were so supportive. Without the mentors, I know I would still be on my learners today,” he said.
PCYC Braking the Cycle is offered at 42 PCYC Queensland clubs across the state with thanks to the support of the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
Since 2013, PCYC Braking the Cycle has helped over 1,600 young people obtain their driver’s licence through a network of over 485 volunteer mentor drivers, over 50 vehicles and the support from more than 50 government, community and corporate partners.
In that time, PCYC Braking the Cycle has been awarded 15 State and National Road Safety Awards, and most recently received a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in December 2018.
Volunteers need to hold an open licence and have, or be willing to obtain, a Blue Card. Vehicles and comprehensive training is provided.
For more information on how to become a volunteer mentor, call Cate or Anna on 0427 867 271.