Jason keeping kids out of trouble
A CASINO resident, who in his younger days was admittedly on the "wrong side of the fence a number of times", has come up with a mentor initiative to help the youth of his hometown.
When Jason Goulding, owner of Car Sound FX, suggested establishing a mentor program to help alleviate youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Casino at a community meeting this week, most of the 80 audience members nodded in agreement.
The mentor program would involve Casino business owners and local kids coming together at informal quarterly meetings as a way to build a bond between the two generations.
"The whole concept is getting the business community closer with the (rest of the) community," he said.
"So when these kids walk down the street they think 'that's Jason's shop, not Car Sound FX'.
"The school kids are our future and at the end of the day we were children once too.
"They are looking for something to do and if we were to work closer with them, we could work out what would benefit them and businesses and find things for them to do."
Mr Goulding, who moved to the area when he was 15, once hated school but managed to turn his life around.
"Mentors came into my life only very recently," he said.
"I value these people and I wish I had them a lot earlier in life.
"If we help one kid it's well and truly worth it as that one child could make a mistake one day that could kill one of our family members."
Since voicing the idea on Wednesday night, Mr Goulding has received calls of support from Richmond Valley Council, business owners and a local school principal.
He said he wanted costs associated with the mentor program to be absorbed so disadvantaged children did not miss out.
For information, email email@example.com.