In summary, we take in donations of unwanted bicycles from the general public and fix them up with the help of volunteers, NEETs and jobseekers, whilst at the same time providing training, life skills and work-based experience. We then sell the refurbished bikes to members of the local community for an affordable price, providing a healthy transport option. In addition, the income from sales of the bikes makes the project sustainable.
The enterprise will use refurbishment of donated bicycles to promote self-reliance and self-confidence by giving young people and jobseekers the opportunity to learn, acquire new skills and gain work experience. Each participant in the project will also experience the accomplishment of having earned a bike through their own work.
The learning and skills developed through the project will range from office and business skills to bike maintenance skills leading to accreditation. Two volunteers to the project are being trained to become tutors in the Lifelong Learning sector. Over time it may be possible for those who have developed in confidence and acquired bicycle maintenance qualifications to progress to courses offered by the local college in areas such as motor vehicle or plumbing.
A unique selling point is that by focusing on bicycles we can encourage those who might not otherwise engage, young people and adults alike, to cross boundaries - literally and figuratively. Cycling can enable exploration beyond one's immediate neighbourhood by providing a means of independent transportation giving the freedom to travel locally and beyond - to school, college, and work. It also cuts across social boundaries, enabling people to meet others with like interests that otherwise would not be realized.
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