Walton Bike Project
All about how the Walton Bike Project came about:
In 2016 the Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership expanded the highly successful Guildford Bike Project to Elmbridge. The project is located at Walton Youth Centre and hopes to replicate the success story of the Guildford Bike Project. In nearly 6 years of operation, the Bike Project has refurbished and sold over 3,500 donated bikes; has engaged with over 150 jobseekers; has recruited over 70 volunteers, created 8 jobs within the project; provided an accredited qualification to over 120 learners and has progressed over 40 people into paid employment.
The simple idea has huge benefits. Public donations of old or unwanted bikes are up-cycled to provide cycle maintenance skills, training and work experience for local job seekers and young people who will be taught how to refurbish these bikes. These good quality second hand bikes are then sold to the local community at affordable prices, with the income helping to sustain the project.
In order to support the establishment of the project in Walton, Surrey County Council has contributed a grant of £30,000 and Walton Charity will provide a community grant of £45,000 over 3 years. Andrea Watson, Walton Charity’s Community Services Manager says: “We know that this project has been very successful in Guildford and hope that it will flourish in Elmbridge.”
John Thurlow of SLLP says: “We know that there are areas of deprivation in the Borough of Elmbridge where economic inactivity, low skills and lack of confidence are contributing to household poverty and an inability to improve life chances. Many of these issues are due to low skills; people who did not have a good experience at school or college and often left early with no formal qualifications. This presents a barrier to progression and the prospects of starting a career in anything other than low-skilled industries. At the Bike Project we create a different environment where such candidates feel more comfortable, are given more time and are able to flourish. At the heart of what we do is delivering a hands-on vocational qualification in a high quality professional work environment.”
The new project is looking for people who have the time and skills to volunteer at this Walton based project. They are would also welcome donations of bikes. Please get in touch with Graham Holmes via EMAIL or phone him on 014830570521.