Kierra came to LiveWires when she was 5 years old, after her mother Amy was recommended to the program from her neighbour. Amy hurt her back a couple of years ago and had been struggling to endure the constant pain and continuous visits to the hospital. As a single mother Amy found it hard to afford, let alone be mobile enough, to provide Kierra with extra-curricular activities that would support her daughter’s growth and wellbeing.
For the past three years, Kierra and Amy have regularly attended LiveWires activities and family holiday program outings. Amy recently shared how much LiveWires had positively impacted their lives. “LiveWires has given me the time to do things at home, go for walks, get fit and focus on improving my health. I hope eventually to be strong enough to one day find myself a job, a private rental somewhere, and get out of public housing,” said Amy.
She also spoke of the changes in her child’s behaviour as a result of the positive role models at LiveWires. “Kierra has become more outgoing and is eating and socialising better, with a more positive attitude. She is able to release her energy so when she arrives home she is ready for bed.”
We find it encouraging to hear from families about the impact our programs have had on their lives and to know that it is not only the children that we are supporting through our programs, but also their families.
Kelly, a mother of four, recently shared with us how her whole family and her sons and their peers have been touched by Hand Brake Turn. “I’m very proud of all my boys!” exclaimed Kelly.
Her first son, Adam had been passionate about engineering and motor mechanics in high school, so Kelly suggested that he attends the Hand Brake Turn program.
Each week he woke up to catch the bus from Frankston to Dandenong to learn about mechanics and build relationships with his trainers and peers. “Adam absolutely adored the trainers. The time they put into their young people is unreal,” said Kelly. The trainers gave students opportunities to do volunteer work linking them into jobs in their field.
Adam went onto receive mechanic apprenticeships at several places (Mercedes, Jefferson Ford and Somerville Automotive) and participated in Performance Car Mania events. “There are so many boys I know that have been in Hand Brake Turn and have gone on to be mechanics,” said Kelly who still kept up with at least 15 young people who’ve participated in Hand Brake Turn.
After Adam had completed the Hand Brake Turn, my other sons really wanted to get into the car scene too. My son Lockey was diagnosed with PTSD as well as having high functioning autism and so when his youth worker suggested he give Hand Brake Turn a call – he jumped at the opportunity.
In December, when her son Lockey graduated from Hand Brake Turn and Kelly shared with staff how proud she was of all her boys. Her son Lockey has since got into a Cert II in panel beating and painting at Chisholm in Dandenong, and attends school three other days at Oakwood High School.
“The teachers there teach good morals and about learning other trades. You can be whatever you want to be. It makes me proud to know the guys at Hand Brake Turn are trying to make a difference.”