The founders of a new YMCA bicycle maintenance and repair group set up by Brighton YMCA are appealing for help to get the course up and running. The group aims to involve residents in the repair of old bikes and once fixed the resident gets to keep the bike.
Shawn Timmons, YMCA project worker, first came up with the idea when he met Craig, one of the YMCA’s clients. Craig had felt very isolated before arriving at Brighton YMCA and had also been diagnosed with a liver condition that could have a serious impact on his health.
Shawn said: “I was aware Craig would not get into the gym due to poor body image and low self-esteem. But by suggesting a bike and working on his diet we addressed this. The bike worked well as it was an activity he could do on his own.
“I felt the bike group would be an ideal way to encourage people who are quite sedentary to be more active. It also promotes social inclusion by getting the clients out and about, and encourages our residents to work together on a project that is all inclusive. Having access to a bike will create independence and enable our clients to get to volunteer work or courses.”
Interest in bike maintenance and cycling has always been on Brighton YMCA’s agenda. Between 2010 and 2013, Brighton YMCA offered bike recycling and maintenance courses, in partnership with Bike4Life, through Big Lottery funding. The course was very popular, but new funding is now required to keep the group going.
Find out more about the project and fundraising efforts by visiting the Neighbourly website.