Hackney volunteer police cadets get funding to learn how to repair bikes for the public

Hackney police volunteer cadets celebrate after receiving funding for a bike maintenance workshop. P

Hackney police volunteer cadets celebrate after receiving funding for a bike maintenance workshop. Photo credit: London Cycling Campaign - Credit: Archant

A police cadet group in Hackney have been awarded £5,000 to start a bike maintenance and repair project.

The money will help to train Hackney Volunteer Police Cadets in bike maintenance at weekly sessions at the Forest Road Youth Hub in Forest Road, Dalston, using bikes recovered by the police and for which no owner can be traced.

Refurbished bikes will be donated to local causes and once training has been completed the cadets will be able to practice their skills by taking part at community events organised in conjunction with the police.

The cadets will provide bike safety checks and repairs to the public, as well as offering bike marking and road safety advice.

PC Tom Morris, volunteer cadet co-ordinator, said: “Cycling is such a big part in the cadets’ lives. They love the independence that bikes give them. But often they stop cycling when their bikes stop working because they can’t afford to take them to the shop. This is another of the reasons why they are so keen to learn mechanics and are looking forward to this project so much.”

The group applied to the Community Cycling Fund for London (CCFL) for money and were one of 21 projects to be selected.

It follows on from a number of fundraising initiatives by the cadets including a sponsored trip to Gambia last year when they donated 100 bikes to the country.

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The cadets raised all the money for the trip through various fundraising initiatives including a 14 mile run and jumble sales.

During the trip the cadets renovated a disused building into a cycle workshop and ensured the donated bikes were in working order.

After the trip, PC Tom Morris and other volunteers were inspired to develop a cycle maintenance project for Hackney cadets, which is why they applied to CCFL.

PC Morris hopes they can return to Gambia next summer and work in the bike workshop alongside the local community putting their newly-acquired mechanics and volunteering skills into practice.”

He added: “Many of our cadets are likely to leave school with little or no academic qualifications. We aim to provide experience and qualifications in a range of subjects so they can make realistic choices on future careers. Gaining a qualification in cycle maintenance and experience in volunteering in the community will be valuable tools for the cadets when looking for a job in later life.”