Young People’s Programme
The Bristol Bike Project has worked very successfully with young people since its inception and this continues to be one of the primary focal points of the project. We want to engage young people from all backgrounds and especially those from disadvantaged communities, thereby helping to address the isolation and marginalisation that can cause low self esteem and poverty of opportunity. As well as teaching new skills, we also want to offer the young people that we work with, the opportunity to spend time in a supportive, stimulating and non-judgemental environment and to have contact with positive adult role models.
We currently offer the following programmes and activities for young people:
1. The Young Person’s Earn-a-Bike Programme
The YPEAB is a 6-8 week course, running on Tuesdays from 4 – 6.30pm and is free to attend. The programme is specifically aimed at underprivileged young people between the ages of 12-17 years old, who would benefit from being independently mobile and who are able to commit to attending the course for 6-8 weeks. The young person will not only earn a bicycle donated to the project from the programme, but also develop a comprehensive set of skills in bicycle mechanics to keep their bike running smoothly.
It is important to make clear that this is not just about giving out free bikes, but rather, providing a well-integrated bicycle mechanics course and earn-a-bike scheme, at the end of which they will have both their own bicycle from the project that they have overhauled AND a comprehensive knowledge of how a bike works and how to fix their own. Included in the programme is also a good quality d-lock and set of lights.
There are spaces for up to four young people per session, with two coordinators present at all times. After each 6-8 week programme, there will then be another 4 available places and so on up until June of next year and hopefully beyond if we can get further funding.
We will consider both young people referred by organisations and self-referrals.
For more information about this programme and to enrol a young person onto it, please email the lead coordinator Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
This programme is kindly funded through Bristol’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) as part of its Active Neighbourhoods Programme.
2. After School Bikes
Every Friday from 3:30 to 6:30pm, young people aged 8 to 18 are encouraged to come and use our workshop space in order to further their understanding of bike mechanics and to keep their own bike running safely. Whether they’re looking to fix their own bike, or want to get involved with repairing one for use in our Earn-a-Bike scheme, they are welcome to drop in, grab a spanner and get involved. There is no charge for this service and no pre-booking is required.
For more information, please visit the webpage here.
This programme is kindly funded by the Active Travel part of Bristol City Council
3. Bespoked One-to-One & School’s Groups Bicycle Mechanics
We continue to deliver a mixture of one-to-one and larger group sessions in bicycle mechanics to young people aged between nine to eighteen years old that are referred to us by schools in and around Bristol. Please note that these sessions are funded and paid for by the referring schools and organisations. Whether it is a ten week integrated bicycle mechanics & Earn-a-Bike programme or a shorter, six week bicycle mechanics course, we are able to offer a whole range of bespoked programmes and sessions to suit your timescale and budget. Please contact Sebastien at email@example.com to discuss this in more detail.
These are our most regularly delivered one-to-one and schools courses at present:
Six Week Bicycle Mechanics Course
A young person can gain a certificate of general bicycle skills & maintenance by taking part in our 6 week-course, during which time they will:
- Gain a good understanding of how a bike works.
- Learn how to recognise a range of problems with a bike and be confident in resolving them.
- Carry out a selection of useful adjustments, repairs and servicing tasks.
- Use a selection of general and specialist tools.
For this course to be effective and comprehensive, they will need to attend regularly (cancellations need to be made 48hours in advance) every week for six continuous weeks. At the end of the program and depending upon the circumstances, the young person may then be given the option to continue by getting involved and volunteering at The Bristol Bike Project in a broader sense, helping us with our community programmes.
1 x 2 hour session for one person: £30
Cost for a six-week course is £180 per person
Once in possession of the Bicycle Mechanic Certificate, a young person will work with us to refurbish a second hand bike that has been donated to the Project, to turn it into a roadworthy bike that they can then take away and use as a healthy mode of transport. We will expect the young person to spend six hours of their time working on their bike with us in our workshop, followed by a 2 hour on-road training session, where they will then have the opportunity to learn how to ride their bike in a safe way.
4. Reparation Work & Community service
Young people referred to us in this way will be given the opportunity to carry out activities which are going to benefit the project and wider community such as helping us to sort through, fix up and recycle bicycles that are donated to us. Once the young person has gained enough experience and confidence during this time, we are able to offer them the opportunity to help us with our other bike-related programs here at the project alongside our adult volunteers.
Sessions can be booked in advance for a slot on either a Monday, Tuesday or Friday between 9am to 5pm. Time of placement needs to be discussed with the co-ordinator.
One person: £15 / hour
5. Work Experience
Due to how busy the project is these days, it is often a struggle to find time to have young people on work experience placements with us. However, we do try to accept a small number of these every year. Please contact Sebastien at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please remember that we rely on unwanted bicycles that are donated to the project to run these programmes, so please do consider donating any unwanted/unused bikes to us and we will find them a good home!
What people have said about our courses:
“All the staff at the Bristol Bike Project demonstrated patience, commitment, respect and enthusiasm towards the young people on the scheme. This helped to keep the young people thoroughly engaged throughout the course making it a fantastic success. The practical knowledge of their team mean’t that all the boys came away with more than enough skills to maintain and look after their bikes in the future. The added bonus that they get to keep a bike at the end of the scheme gave the young people even more reason to engage 100%.” Phil Harris, Young Bristol Boys’ Challenge Instructor
“The Bristol Bike Project has worked with some of the most vulnerable groups in the city, and I have found them to be extremely good at engaging with my young people. Most importantly, the young people are being mentored during the course of the workshops in ways both overt and subtle. The Bristol Bike Project offers a rare opportunity to learn traits in a productive, safe and supportive setting. The Project is a unique and valuable asset within the social enterprise sector. They tick so many boxes including: skills development to marginalised individuals; raising awareness of sustainable means of transport; promoting safe riding skills on the streets; building self confidence through inclusion and supported independence; and most importantly, promoting excellent human values including honesty, sincerity, humility, and self-reliance. It has been a pleasure dealing with such a creative and socially responsible group and I would recommend them to any organisation involved with marginalised and vulnerable individuals and communities.” Linda Oliver, Youth Justice Support Worker, Bristol Youth Offending Team
“Shirehampton Primary School has engaged with the Bristol Bike Project for the last two years with the aim of broadening the skill set of some of our year 6 pupils and this has certainly been achieved. The Project staff engage extremely effectively with our pupils and as a result of the high adult ratio provided, quality time is spent with pupils actively learning and being guided to put their new found skills in to place. The course is cleverly devised so that pupils learn by doing and are encouraged to make decisions as they assemble their bikes; they are rightly proud of the end result. In fact not only do the pupils learn new things their self esteem is boosted as they see their new bike taking shape and they realise that they possess skills they never knew they had! The biggest compliment the Bike Project can be paid is that the pupils can’t wait for the Bristol Bike Project Friday afternoon sessions and the number of requests we receive from pupils who wish to take part is high. We will continue to engage with this project as long as it is available – thank you!” Louisa Munton, Headteacher of Shirehampton School
“The Bristol bike project really helped me. I learned how to build and maintain bikes and it also allows me to get out of my house and do something constructive and it also keeps me out of trouble I find the project really useful before coming here I couldn’t really do anything with bikes. I like going to the bike project.” Steven, Notton House