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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-12-05

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Bike project supporting local people to hold 1st sale

A Liverpool based bike project, which supports local people who are unemployed, asylum seekers or have learning disabilities, is getting ready to hold its first bike sale and community event after restoring and servicing more than 50 bikes in the year it's been up and running.

The social enterprise, Recycles Merseyside, set up by The Salvation Army's Stoneycroft Corps (Church) in the Old Swan area of Liverpool, offers a bike mechanic course to local people, many of whom are experiencing homelessness.

The course attendees refurbish bikes which have been donated to the project, giving them hands on experience and the ability to learn new skills.

Phil Doragh, Project Coordinator, at The Salvation Army's Recycles Merseyside, said:- "At Recycles we work with some very vulnerable people and equip them with new skills. We believe if we give people the opportunities they can transform their own lives and this has been true at Recycles. Attending also gives services users focus as well as a boost to confidence. We've seen a huge difference in those who have completed the bike mechanic course. Recycles gives local people access to a project that can make a tangible difference to their lives. Also, we're able offer an affordable bike service, and in some cases this means people are able to continue to use their bikes which allow them to get to work every day. Essentially there are three key aims of our project and that's to encourage recycling, promote exercise and to help transform lives."

It takes around 6 weeks to complete the bike mechanic course if service users attend twice a week. The project operates from a workshop attached to the corps which is equipped to enable up to 4 people to work at once.

Phil, continued:- "Over the last year the local community has very generously donated bikes which we've now refurbished ready to sell. We're holding our first bike sale to give local people the opportunity to purchase affordable bikes while supporting the community. It would be wonderful if anyone with an old bike could think of donating it to us so we can continue to make a difference to the most vulnerable local people."

One service user, Tony, began attending the project in February 2017. He is currently living in The Salvation Army's Centre for people experiencing homelessness, Darbyshire House.

Tony, 51, said:- "It's been wonderful coming to Recycles as it's given me a focus, something to look forward to. After completing the bike mechanic course I now volunteer at Recycles, helping others which has been a huge boost."

The bike sale and community event will be held at The Salvation Army, Stoneycroft, from 10am until 2pm, on Saturday, 13 May 2017. Bike themed music and drama will run throughout the day.

The Salvation Army has been helping people to transform their lives for more than 150 years. Stoneycroft Corps runs a number of activities to support the community. To find out more go online.


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