Surrey Crime Prevention Society volunteers wear the familiar green jackets out on a Community Safety Tour.

Many ways you can help vulnerable youth get on the right track

Surrey Crime Prevention Society looks to reignite youth-at-risk mentorship program

A program with proven success in engaging at-risk youth in Surrey in positive activities and steering them away from negative behaviours needs your help.

You’ve no doubt seen Surrey Crime Prevention Society volunteers in their green jackets delivering such programs as Speedwatch throughout the City, and the Lock Out Auto Crime and Citizen’s Community Safety Tours.

What you may not know is this charity also works hard to connect vulnerable youth with trained mentors (university students). They volunteer side by side and experience the sense of pride by contributing to their community and gaining valuable skills.

Despite the solid track record of the Community Safety Youth Mentorship Program, funding challenges have put this successful initiative on hold, at least for now, says executive director Karen Reid Sidhu.

And that’s where you come in.

Mentorships produce positive outcomes

“Vulnerable youth in our communities need our support,” she says, noting that your donations could help reinstate this worthwhile program. “We’ve had three years of getting excellent results. We’ve seen kids who have gone back to school, or enrolled in post-secondary after being influenced by our dedicated mentors.”

So what makes this concept work so well? Matching up enthusiastic and well-trained leadership mentors with at-risk youth, who learn about and participate with their mentor in programs ranging from community safety tours to traffic safety, plus special events and projects.

“It gives the kids a sense of what it’s like to make a difference,” Reid Sidhu says. “Plus they experience a positive interaction with law enforcement and fellow volunteers, which gives them a whole new perspective on being part of the community while making a difference.”

A related program called Civic Pride, launched last year and supported by Envision First West Financial and the Trigate Properties Group, sees crime prevention volunteers work with Grade 7 students, educating them on the value of giving back and understanding the value of civic pride.

Volunteers help keep your community safer

Over the past three years, Surrey Crime Prevention Society volunteers have contributed 95,000 hours delivering a variety of programs. As part of that service, they’ve supported the community through recovering stolen vehicles, ensuring our roads are safe for children by monitoring speeds and distracted driving in school and playground zones, and reminded you that leaving items in your vehicle increases the risk of it being broken into.

Here’s some of that work by the numbers (year-to-date 2018, unless otherwise stated):

  • 46 – The number of stolen vehicles found and reported to police
  • 385 – Total calls for service initiated by volunteers to police, fire, Transit Police and city bylaw departments
  • 85,000 – vehicles targeted with Lock Out Auto Crime information
  • 450,000 – The number of vehicles checked in Speedwatch zones near school and playgrounds in the past two years; a full 25 per cent were found to be speeding, which led to police enforcement in those areas

*****

Through the generosity of a City of Surrey grant, gaming funds and private donations, these programs continue to produce outstanding results. And with community support, Surrey Crime Prevention Society will be able to reintroduce the Community Safety Youth Mentorship Program.

If you’d like to help financially, you can do so online. Interested volunteers can find the forms here and you can follow the society on Facebook. You can contact them directly at 604-502-8555 or visit their office on 82nd Avenue in Surrey.

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A Surrey Crime Prevention Society volunteer works with local youth during a Community Safety Tour.

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