Youth centre goes independent with recycling and maintenance project

Maintenance sessions at the Venture youth centre

A Kensington & Chelsea project that recycles bikes during maintenance classes attended by youths from the local community is now teaching the youngsters to be professional bike mechanics so it can go it alone.

As a result of high demand for more sessions, two regular attendees at the Re:Cycle project have been enrolled in the City & Guilds bike maintenance course run by the Bike Doctor, with a view to making them accredited bike mechanics.

Re:Cycle runs six-week courses during which kids learn high-quality bike maintenance skills, turning abandoned and unclaimed bicycles from the council’s waste service into usable machines.

Participants attending a full set of sessions and restoring one or more bikes are presented with the bike they have repaired at the end of the course.

The scheme is based at the Venture Centre in North Kensington, which serves the Golborne Estate, near Portobello Road. It was started in 2009 with a grant administered by LCC via the Community Cycling Fund for London.

The maintenance sessions at the Venture centre were delivered by a qualified mechanic from the Bike Doctor Academy and covered all the different aspects of bike recycling, from mending punctured tyres to repairing faulty gears.

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea hopes to deliver similar courses at this and other centres in the borough.

Fact file

Re:Cycle – Dalgarno and Venture youth centre
Bike maintenance skills for young people
£4540 by the Community Cycling Fund for London in 2009.
Maintenance sessions and earn-a-bike schemes at the Dalgarno and Venture youth centre in Kensington and Chelsea.

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