A unique Cessnock project to help at-risk youths held an official open day on Friday.
Project Rebuild was coined by Cessnock PCYC youth case manager Senior Constable Matthew Ellis two years ago, when he created an opportunity for youths to gain hands-on construction experience developing the PCYC building.
His latest venture involves five boys aged 15-17 restoring a 1979 Holden HZ Ute onsite at Cessnock City Motor Group, one of the supporters of the project.
Once the vehicle is fully restored, it will be auctioned with proceeds to be reinvested back into Project Rebuild 2017, and other youth programs at the PCYC.
Numerous other local businesses have come on board to assist with the program, donating thousands of dollars worth of time and equipment.
Senior Constable Ellis said the project gave the boys mechanical employment experience, which they would not have had otherwise.
He said he has seen a huge turnaround in the attitude of the boys in the five weeks the program has been going, and hoped the program helps them realise what is out there for them to achieve.
Program participant Dylan Jones, 16 said he thought the program was amazing.
He said before the project started he “knew nothing about cars” and thought the experience would take him a long way towards getting a job in mechanics.
Senior Constable Ellis said they hoped to have the car completed by late November, and auctioned on Australia Day 2017.
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