Sefton’s Cycle Team and its Community Cycle Clubs programme has once again been working closely with Savio Salesian College in Bootle to restore recovered stolen bikes, or bikes seized as proceeds of crime. The bikes are kindly donated from Merseyside Police and are then assessed by the pupils under the guidance of Seftons Cycling Development Officer; this is the first step in a 7 week programme to take the bikes from an un-roadworthy condition to ‘ride ready’ cycles. We have just completed the third series of work programmes, two involving the pupils who have been excluded from mainstream education and one that involved pupils completing their Duke of Edinburgh award. For the excluded pupils, the sessions provide a diversionary exercise to help engage them in alternative methods of learning, providing an opportunity to work in a hands on manner, the sessions have helped improve attendance, attainment and cooperation amongst the pupils and have also helped some of the students reintegrate back in to mainstream school.
Once the bikes are fully serviced and repaired we seek ways to put them back into the community, the first series of bikes were donated to Tyred Rides in Southport, a bike recycling social enterprise that forms part of the charity Parenting 2000, the second fleet of bikes were ridden 217 miles from Tanzania to Kenya, raising money for Cafod and the Medaille Trust, at the journeys end the bikes were donated to one of the communities to provide transport within the village.
This latest round of repairs has culminated in the bikes being ridden by the students from Savio to a Cafod supported safe house in Cheshire that supports victims of people trafficking, where they will be donated to the residents placed there, enabling much needed transport for the protected community.