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July 15, 2024

Lismore youth crime prevention program North-Tracks Works secures $30,000 grant

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. Photo supplied

Lismore-based North-Tracks Works has secured a $30,000 grant to expand its life-changing program to engage with more young people in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino with the assistance of Lismore MP Janelle Saffin.

‘We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is one of creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,’ said North-Tracks Works Chair, Patrick Higgins.

‘At North-Tracks we spend ten per cent looking back, ten per cent at where you are now and 80 per cent out front. We help them chase their dreams and goals.

‘The team at North-Tracks have three basic goals; keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.’

Ms Saffin praised North-Tracks Works, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for how it empowers vulnerable young people aged 11 to 18 by providing one-on-one support, mentoring and practical learning opportunities.

Ms Saffin thanked NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her representations on behalf of the organisation.

‘I was able to lock in a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation program grant so North-Tracks could purchase equipment and materials for the young people to learn and gain skills to be work ready,’ Ms Saffin said.

‘This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers to put more young people through its already proven youth program, one which I know has the support of Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.’

Mr Higgins thanked Ms Saffin for all her efforts in securing the extra funding from Minister Catley which would help sustain and expand the program.

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