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Cares volunteers help out with bike repair project
1:53pm Tuesday 19th February 2013 in News
DO you have an old, unwanted bike gathering dust? Or maybe some unused handlebars, an oily chain or other superfluous bike parts.
Volunteers from Darlington Cares, an employer-led collective which aims to increase volunteering opportunities in the borough, are working with social enterprise Bike Stop.
Launched last year by homeless charity First Stop Darlington, Bike Stop is based in the town’s Skinnergate.
The brainchild of First Stop’s chief executive Tracy Freeeman, Bike Stop offers bicycle repairs and maintenance, as well as taking in unwanted bikes and parts – no matter what their condition – for repair, refurbishment and sale in its shop.
Proceeds from sales are used to support First Stop’s services, which include a drop-in centre for young homeless people and those at risk of homelessness.
Darlington Cares is made up of a string of private and public sector employers, including Cummins, Darlington Borough Council, the NHS and Newsquest, which publishes The Northern Echo.
Cares is helping Bike Stop by arranging the collection of old and unwanted bikes and parts, as well as repair and maintenance session.
Ms Freeman said: “We have a fantastic team of enthusiastic staff and volunteers.
“By working alongside our trained staff and volunteers on bike repairs and restoration, clients of First Stop are able to learn a new skill and work with other people, which has a really positive impact on their confidence.
“Getting volunteers for certain jobs, everyday stuff, can sometimes being quite hard, so having companies that are prepared to release their employees for voluntary work is pretty cool.”
Katie Blundell, programme manager for Darlington Cares, said: “We are also going to run sessions to assist Bike Stop staff, clients and volunteers with repairs and maintenance.
“All help is gratefully received and will be supervised by Bike Stop’s resident bike mechanic.”
To register an interest in joining a bike maintenance and repair session, call Ms Blundell on 01642-738970, 07917-473992 or email firstname.lastname@example.org