PYC program’s growth finds need for community volunteers

Ponoka youths are finding a safe place to hang out at the PYC but planners need volunteers to keep it up.

Ponoka youths are finding a safe place to hang out, but without help from community volunteers, programmers will be forced to reduce the number of kids that can take part.

The Ponoka Youth Centre (PYC) is seeing almost double the number of youths taking advantage of the centre’s teen drop-in nights, held Thursday and Friday nights, explained Andrew Heinrichs, teen program co-ordinator with the centre.

This past summer approximately 25 to 30 youths aged from 12 to 18 years old would come to the drop-in nights but with school back, the number has increased to 50 or more kids, said Heinrichs.

To help ensure the program continues, the PYC is seeking volunteers to come help out once a month. Beth Reitz, executive director of the PYC, says having community volunteers be part of the teen night helps bridge the gap between youths and adults.

“It’s a safe place in the community for kids to hang out with their peers,” added Reitz.

She said the PYC is engaged with students in all schools in Ponoka and that involvement has brought more youths to the centre.

Anyone wishing to volunteer should call the PYC at 403-783-3112.