Centre for people experiencing homelessness offers free cycle maintenance courses and safety checks.
Swindon residents can bring bikes back to life at fun-filled events taking place at The Salvation Army’s social enterprise scheme Recycles as part of a new nationwide campaign called The Big Bike Revival.
Booth House Lifehouse is a residential centre for people experiencing homelessness. It runs two social enterprise schemes – Recycles and a Sandwich delivery service known as The Sandwich People – which offer its residents work experience and the chance to take accredited courses to help them gain the skills they need to find work and get back on their feet.
The Big Bike Revival is a two-week series of family-friendly activities aimed to help people to get their bicycles out of their sheds and learn how to look after them. The Big Bike Revival has been established by the CTC – a national cycling charity.
The events at Recycles are taking place until Saturday, June 6 and will offer free bicycle maintenance courses, an open day offering people the chance to get involved with building, restoring and refurbishing bikes, as well as free safety checks.
On-site mechanics will be on hand to make basic repairs and demonstrate how bikes can be maintained easily and quickly at home.
Those attending can also complete a short survey to be entered into a draw for the chance to win prizes like brand-new bikes, cycling accessory packs, and annual memberships to CTC.
Emma Hicks, Social Enterprise Programme Co-ordinator, said: “Our focus is to care for people who are vulnerable or in need in Swindon. We offer our residents compassionate support and a listening ear. But we also believe in giving them practical help. This is the purpose of Recycles – to help our residents get back on their feet and in time back into the work place, and helping their community. Recycles is an opportunity for our residents to gain a range of skills as well as to give back to the community which is why we are taking part in the Big Bike Revival.”
Ian Richardson, Head of Development at CTC, said: “The Big Bike Revival is a great chance for people to get their bikes back out, have them fixed for free and find out how they can keep on cycling in their local area.
“Not knowing how to fix a puncture or replace a chain should not stop you from enjoying your bike. By going to a Big Bike Revival event, you will learn new skills and improve your confidence, all while having fun and meeting likeminded people.”
The Big Bike Revival, being backed by former EastEnders and Love Actually star Martine McCutcheon, runs from 23 May – 7 June, with more than 1,000 events being held across England by almost 200 cycle centres.
A pilot project last October covered 10 centres in West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Liverpool and led to 317 bicycles being brought back into use.
Over 1,300 people attended the pilot events, with 28 per cent of those surveyed pledging to cycle at least once a week in the future.
Ian added: “With many of the events happening over the half-term holidays, we are expecting a lot of families to get involved in The Big Bike Revival – it is a great way to entertain the kids and spend some quality time together.
“We know from the pilot campaign that these events will be very popular and can prove really helpful for people wanting to get their bikes out again.”
To find your nearest event on for more information about The Big Bike Revival, visit www.bigbikerevival.org.uk.
Recycles Free Bicycle Maintenance courses are taking place on Tuesday, June 2, and Wednesday, June 3 – 5:30pm-7.30pm both days
Recycles Free Safety Checks are available on Saturday, June 6 – 10am – 4pm.