Bikes have been in big demand during the pandemic with sales through the roof. Westminster Wheels – a bike refurbishment, maintenance and training project – has been inundated with requests for bikes and has struggled to keep up with demand. Some extra funding will mean more bikes can be donated for free to local young people in need.
At Westminster Wheels, young people aged 17-24 learn how to be cycle mechanics and get paid the London Living Wage for six months to put their skills into practice, refurbishing unwanted and unloved bikes that are donated to the project. These are then sold or given to local people in need of – such as unemployed young people, parents on universal credit who can’t afford children’s bikes, homeless people, and those with health conditions.
Over this past year many young people have found themselves struggling to meet the costs of living. Not being able to scrape together the bus fare means struggling to get to work or education. A bike can make all the difference but rising costs and huge demand means it’s an impossibility for many.
This fundraising drive will make a big difference to fifteen young people who will receive a free refurbished bike, complete with locks, helmets and lights, as well as providing cycle confidence training to a local youth group and a free ‘Dr Bike’ maintenance day in the community. And it will help to support the ongoing costs of the initiative that is making such a difference to those young people enrolled as cycle mechanics learning a new trade.