A BORDER not-for-profit charity changing the lives of thousands of at-risk young men is expanding throughout NSW.
Boys To The Bush runs programs at Albury, Forbes, Parkes and Bathurst and will soon expand to Leeton and Young.
Boys To The Bush ambassador Richard Hamilton said the program had extraordinary reach in only six years.
Mr Hamilton, who is also a dairy and beef operator in the Mitta Valley, said mentoring, camps and wellbeing group sessions had effectively helped thousands of young men on the ground.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"It's already helped 5000 boys make life-changing decisions," he said.
"It will help 1000 boys this year alone."
Mr Hamilton said the concept reached at-risk youth and gave them options and a purpose in life.
He said often the youth had faced extreme trauma and needed time and patient role models.
"The concept is surrounded by good blokes and mentors," Mr Hamilton said.
"No one in the organisation judges the kids; they know they are in an environment out of their control.
"We get kids together in an environment where they're not confident, it can take weeks for progress and to build trust."
This week the NSW Office for Regional Youth announced $500,000 to enable Boys To The Bush to open two new community hubs to support vulnerable youth at Leeton and Young.
Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the Boys To The Bush programs fostered positive outcomes for local young people, families and their communities.
"The new hubs have the potential to make a positive impact on close to 7000 young people between the ages of nine and 22, surrounding them with positive influences and creating a sense of belonging in their community," he said.
"These hubs will provide a social outlet for young men in the area, and will also help to support our local economy by creating jobs for caring locals."
Matt Evans, who was previously part of the mentoring program, was now employed by Boys To The Bush.
Mr Evans said the program helped him manage his depression and anxiety.
"Boys To The Bush encouraged me to be a part of my community, which has given me a purpose in life," he said.
"I am now employed by Boys To The Bush and I'm able to help others dealing with similar challenges."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.