PCYC’s RUBY program gets funding boost

SAMARA MCRAE

The Gold Coast branch of the PCYC has received a $10,000 funding boost for their RUBY (Rise Up, Be Yourself) program for women affected by domestic or family violence.

PCYC’s RUBY program CommBank grant

The Community Grant from CommBank will enable the Gold Coast PCYC’s RUBY program continue to help empower women affected by domestic violence. Photo: Samara McRae

 

The money is part of the CommBank Staff Foundation Community Grant program, which provides support to local community organisations.

CommBank Cannon Hill manager Sally Nguyen presented the grant to the club on August 24.

Ms Nguyen said since the pandemic began, they had noticed more vulnerable customers being exposed to things they were not used to.

“Scams and DV [domestic violence] are the biggest two topics and biggest things that have happened since COVID-19, so this a great program to have access to,” she said.

“CommBank employers are trained to notice these things, we see them every day and have had these conversations with customers.”

PCYC Queensland developed the RUBY program as a free physical fitness program for women aged 16 and over who have experienced, or are experiencing, domestic and family violence (DFV).

RUBY program manager Senior Constable Rochelle Gillett said the program was designed to empower women by building physical strength and contributing to general well-being, emotional resilience, self-esteem and confidence through physical exercise.

Senior Constable Gillett said the delivery of the RUBY program involved free weekly training sessions facilitated by both a qualified female personal trainer and a female police officer.

“We do a circuit class, boxing, a boxing coach helps with that class, aerobics classes and guided meditation at the end, [which] helps them calm down and get back to the present moment,” she said.

PCYC club manager Sergeant Linda Baade said the idea of the RUBY program was to get women affected by domestic violence out of their environment and into a safe and supportive setting.

Sergeant Baade said the strength-based training sessions ran for an hour, with an additional half an hour afterwards allocated for group chats, facilitated workshops, healthy snacks and intentional connection.

“Ladies are welcome to talk after the fitness session over tea or coffee,” she said.

“The ladies we’re networking with are all in the same situation or have been there – going through court processes, so they can support each other and offer other resources we might not have thought of.”

“The networking is really important at the end, so they can talk about their issues and [increase their] emotional resilience.”

The RUBY program was started in 2014 to offer a non-traditional response to domestic and family violence.

Since then CommBank has supported the PCYC through grant opportunities to help with community events, fetes and programs like RUBY.

The program provides an accessible starting point for a lot of women seeking support.

The RUBY program is now delivered weekly in 34 PCYC Queensland clubs across the state.

PCYC Queensland also partners with more than 40 community-based and government organisations to deliver the program, through referrals and other support.

Participants have direct access to the appropriate support network, as well as to education, transportable skills and resources that reduce their likelihood of revictimisation, and they become armed with the tools to recognise unhealthy relationships and make informed decisions.

Participants can work with a Queensland Police Service officer to pursue domestic violence orders against former/current partners and to receive advice on court processes.

For more information about PCYC Queensland, visit their website.

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