Youth Minister Dave Kelly today presented a Lotterywest grant of $95,500 to Avon Community Services to help disadvantaged Northam young people get to school.
Avon Community Services helps vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Northam, Merredin, Narrogin and Moora to engage with school and the community, and assists them in getting their lives back on track and reaching their full potential. The school bus service is a small way for the Government to assist in empowering Northam youths to reach their goals.
In Northam, Avon Community Services supports economically and socially disadvantaged people with holistic, ‘wrap around’ services which address school attendance, youth engagement and tenancy support.
This Lotterywest grant will go towards the purchase of a 22-seat bus that will be put to work by Avon Community Services in a number of roles, most importantly delivering disadvantaged students to school in Northam.
Avon Community Services have been operating in the Wheatbelt for more than 34 years and the State Government through Lotterywest has approved 37 grants to the Avon Youth Community and Family Services Incorporated since 1989, totalling $1,030,172.
As stated by Youth Minister Dave Kelly:
“Avon Community Services has made a positive difference to many young lives in the Avon region and the McGowan Government, through Lotterywest, is proud to offer its support.
“The organisation has been working closely with four schools over a number of years and identified the need to assist at-risk youth who don’t have access to school each day.
“A pilot project using a 12-seater bus over the past year was a great success, so a bigger bus quickly became necessary.
“The school transport service has so far given 50 young people access to education in schools in and around Northam that they otherwise would simply not have had.
“Education is essential for the development of young people and their lives into the future, and it’s great to see this service delivering an improvement in school attendance rates.”
As stated by Agricultural Region MLC Darren West:
“This is a great community project with strong community engagement.
“Thanks to Avon Community Services and their staff, to Northam Toyota and of course to the State Government through Lotterywest, for making this outcome happen.”
As stated by Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham:
“A major benefit of Avon Community Services having a larger bus is that young people can now be transported in one round trip instead of one of three.
“The larger bus will enable them to develop a strong camaraderie with each other in the group and ensure that they arrive at school on time.”