Parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack has announced $530,000 from the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund to benefit local youth in Cessnock through new youth-related infrastructure and mentoring programs.
Ms Cusack congratulated Branxton Greta Little Athletics, Police Citizens Youth Club and the Top Blokes Foundation who all secured significant NSW Government funding for their projects.
"Branxton Greta Little Athletics will get a $98,000 boost to build a new 4-bay storage shed at their Miller Park site - making a big difference for young people, their families and volunteers at the club," said Ms Cusack.
The Top Blokes Foundation Managing Director Melissa Abu-Gazaleh welcomed $215,000 in funding which will see more than 400 young men benefit through the expansion of their youth mentoring programs into Cessnock.
Top Blokes Foundation deliver weekly workshops in schools, as well as through other community organisations, which aim to strengthen the mental health and emotional resilience of young males.
Cessnock PCYC is also set to receive more than $217,000 for their Fit for Work/Fit for Life program which aims to support at-risk youth who may be disengaged from education or employment by providing positive opportunities that educate, inspire and empower.
"Fit for Work/Fit for Life is a resilience and capacity building program that integrates two approaches to support the NSW Police Commissioner's RISEUP youth strategy," said Ms Cusack.
"In partnership with Police Officers from NSW Youth and Crime Prevention Command, the program offers real-life skills development and creates employment readiness through pre-employment training, vocational qualifications, structured work experience and mentoring."
Senior Constable Matthew Ellis who has previously run successful PCYC employment mentoring programs in Cessnock, said the funding would make a huge difference to youth in the area.
"Fit for Work/Fit for Life is an 18 month program that will provide accredited employment ready programs to over 60 young people in the Cessnock area," said Snr Cst Ellis.
"PCYC and NSW Police will forge partnership opportunities to allow young people to work alongside local trades within the construction and hospitality industries as part of the RISEUP strategy."