Volunteers ramp it up during COVID

It’s the community around our young people that makes the difference.

The impact of COVID-19 has been profound on the most vulnerable, and we’ve seen more young people being isolated, subject to trauma, disconnecting from schooling and ultimately finding it harder to build their own future.

It’s also been tough for some of our volunteers, with COVID-19 restrictions keeping them from mentoring young people directly, however, that hasn’t stopped them from finding new ways to make a difference.

Barry has been a valued volunteer Mentor at TRACTION since 2018, and recently he jumped at the chance to spend a day on the tools with fellow TRACTION volunteers Martin and Jimmy, and TRACTION’s Program Delivery Manager Karl.

The crew took the chance to ramp it up in a different way during COVID.

It’s great to see the young adults progress, from when they come into the program and the change in their attitude and their enthusiasm by the end of the term. That’s really rewarding to everyone and I think that’s what TRACTION is all about.

Barry, TRACTION volunteer

Helping young people in need, outside the workshop

Martin and Jimmy are fully occupied in their own businesses and professions, which means they can’t commit to a regular routine of mentoring TRACTION participants, but they also relished the chance to make a difference for our young people from outside the workshop.

The trio have practical skills a-plenty, and spent the day with Karl to build a series of bike ramps at TRACTION’s storage hub in Paddington. Quality built to a tight budget, the ramps will soon form a vital part of our “Gear Up” program.

Ramps an integral part of “Gear Up”

Karl designed and built the first ramps during the early stages of COVID-19. With extensive BMX and Mountain Bike riding experience, his vision was for the ramps to provide a challenge for riders of all skill levels, and even be organised as a set of ramps to emulate a “pump track” formation.

TRACTION introduced them to participants as part of our “Gear Up” bicycle riding skills and road safety awareness program, developed in conjunction with Bicycle Queensland and supported by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Participants loved them! Many TRACTION participants don’t own a bike of their own, and some haven’t had the chance to learn to ride. With support from their Mentors, the “Gear Up” program has helped participants build confidence as they develop basic riding skills. Seeing them progress to master the ramps is fantastic. The concentration is intense as they face up on their first approaches. They soon realise they have what it takes, and with practice, smiles take the place of what first looked like trepidation!  TRACTION provides an environment where young people build connections and competence, and “Gear Up” is a great example of how TRACTION gets more young people cycling safely and engaging in active, healthy lifestyles.

Heartfelt thanks

Inspired by Karl’s vision to empower young people with the joy of riding, it was a delight to have Barry, Martin and Jimmy volunteer their time and build ramps that will bring smiles to the faces of some of our most vulnerable young people. Heartfelt thanks to you three legends for making a difference!

Stronger together

“As a retiree, I retired and didn’t know what to do and was terrified. My hobby was my work. TRACTION has given me a bit of a purpose to life I suppose. I love working with children, passing on skills that I’ve gathered over the years as a tradesman and manager.”

Barry, TRACTION volunteer

TRACTION is a not-for-profit, community-focussed organisation that delivers tangible benefits to vulnerable young people and their families through hands-on, action-based learning programs.  Delivered in a workplace-like environment, participants emerge with the confidence to re-engage with school, peers, the community and ultimately lead better lives.

TRACTION believes that everyone deserves a chance to build their own future and is dedicated to empowering young people across Southeast Queensland.

TRACTION partners with like-minded organisations, donors, and local communities because we believe communities are stronger together when they band together, and ordinary people working together can achieve extraordinary things.

Like to get involved with TRACTION? We’d love to hear from you. Click HERE to contact us.