Saddling up in Trowbridge to train vulnerable and homeless in bike repair skills

9:07am Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Vulnerable and homeless people will have an opportunity to gain job skills and training in bike maintenance when a new workshop opens in Trowbridge in July.

Trowbridge Bike Workshop will be modelled on a similar social enterprise set up by charity Julian House in Bath in 2010, which provides job skills training to homeless men and women.

Donated second-hand bikes will be refurbished and sold as part of the project, along with quality second-hand parts and accessories, and there will also be bike servicing.

All profits from the new workshop, which will be based in Duke Street and is expected to open early in July, will either be reinvested into the business or used for other frontline homeless services.

Cecil Weir, Julian House funding director, said: “Our first bike workshop social enterprise has been a huge success and now we feel the time is right to open our second in Trowbridge.

“We don’t expect people to buy our products or services because we’re a charity. It should be because they want good, affordable bikes and parts or to have their own bikes serviced by experienced mechanics.

“However, the fact that this gives real job skills training to some of the most marginalised people in our society should give our customers extra satisfaction in their purchases.

“Some of these people have never been in the job market and others have been disconnected from it for a long time because of problems in their life and this will help their organisation and interaction skills.”

The workshop will be previewed at Neston Park Farm Shop’s Producers and Meet the Farm Day on June 14, when a mobile workshop will be raising funds for Julian House.

People can have their bikes checked over by a trained mechanic for free, with the opportunity to make a donation.

Mr Weir said: “We would urge people to donate their old bikes.”

The workshop will be taking donations from 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday from Monday onwards.

Further details are available from Michael Sharratt on 07800 819544 or email simonb@julianhouse.org.uk

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