Bike donations urgently wanted for youth local initiative
Earlier this year Carney’s ran a ‘fix a bike and keep it’ workshop, which saw eight young people from the local community working with two bike mechanics to fix up donated bikes from Wandsworth Council, which they then got to keep. The initiative has continued, as part of a national campaign calledd #knivesdownbikesup.
The workshop proved so successful that another one followed in the summer – where this time more than 30 bikes were mended and customised by young people from across the borough. Once again, the young people who took part worked with a professional bike mechanic on a donated bike of their choice. Whilst they were fixing the bike, the mechanic explains to the young person how best to maintain it – so it became a learning experience for them.Once the bike is fixed, the young person can customise it how they want - paint, stickers and spoke straws etc. They are then allowed to keep the bike. To date, more than 60 young people have taken part in these workshops.
“The bike workshop has come about to combat the rise in knife crime which is taking too many young lives on the capital’s streets.” says Rory Bradshaw, a Lead Youth Worker at Carney’s. There’s currently a social movement led by young people, called #knivesdownbikesup and earlier this year, 4000 young people took part in a ride out to express their solidarity against knife crime at an event called Bikestormz.
We’ve found that young people in our community are wanting to get involved in bikes by learning to fix and maintain them as well as simply owning one, but usually due to a lack of money, they’re unable to afford a bike that works and is safe”.
George, one of the young people who has taken part in the workshop says, “Getting a bike from the workshop has meant I can ride it and stay out of trouble. It has given me more focus and it’s cool because I’ve learnt how to do some repairs on bikes. My friends are always asking me to fix their bikes. I should start charging them money!”
The next bike workshop, funded by the Youth Opportunity Fund, will take place in early 2019, but can only happen if there are bikes. The club is appealing to local businesses and residents to donate old or spare bikes, so that young people in the borough can continue to take part in more workshops.
Anyone able to do so should email Rory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 30, 2018