Recently Barry Wilson, of SMEC Western Australia, announced a $10,000 funding allocation from the SMEC Foundation towards the Hope2Day program which mentors youths in the Laverton region, Western Australia. This was announced off the back of SMEC’s continued support of the charity event ‘Ride for Hope2Day’ in November of 2018.

Barry Wilson has long advocated for cycling’s capacity to engage and empower community initiatives and as such was eager to see this support continue, commenting;

“Hope2Day in partnership with the Cycling Development Foundation should be proud of what they have achieved; often communities like Laverton and particularly the youth do not get the opportunities that we take for granted; the Project Recycle mentoring initiative; combining bike building skills with professional and volunteer support is a fantastic way for the children to develop skills within a trusting and fun environment.  The SMEC Foundation and staff are proud to continue our involvement with this fantastic initiative.”

The SMEC Foundation is a core part of SMEC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program, and helps fulfil a commitment to community development and sustainable poverty reduction. Similarly, Hope2Day’s youth mentoring program has delivered real success in 2018 with the July introduction of the mentoring and exercise program in Laverton.

The program educates youths and community members of the value of short concise exercise bouts alongside a bike building program that teaches rapport, fine motor skills, problem solving and empowerment. The program is also tied into school attendance and productivity.

Key metrics of the July 2018 Hope2Day program were noted as follows:

  • 33% Improved school attendance & increased engagement in the school community
  • Improved engagement in Education (classroom behaviours and work attitudes)
  • 100% completed a bike for another person
  • 100% engaged in rewards based program – now being linked to school community behaviours
  • 30% participants would like to return as a ‘Bike Buddy’ on future programs, assisting and mentoring others in building their bike
  • 30% participants are now actively engaged in other youth/community or mental health services that they were previously not engaged with prior to the program

SMEC have a history of supporting the Ride for Hope2Day after being the title sponsor in 2017 and now donating a significant sum of money that will see around 10 youths mentored for a one week period in this remote community. Through the support of SMEC and other corporations a total of $16,000 was raised from the charity event.

Brad Hall, managing director of the Cycling Development Foundation that manages the charity ride, commented;

“Without the support of SMEC, in particularly Barry Wilson, this charity event may never have come to fruition. Barry has offered the CDF unwavering support and has enabled us to continue delivering tangible outcomes in the Australian community. Our recent mentoring program in Laverton was an incredible success, held over two weeks, we were able to engage with the community around exercise, health, wellbeing and even education of fine motor skills through bike building. A real highlight was in identifying an individual who has since demonstrated a 800% improvement in school attendance and is now looking at entering an engineering scholarship, since entering the mentoring program…”