£200,000 cash boost for vital bike project

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MORE than 600 vulnerable people are getting a chance to develop life-boosting skills at a bike-recycling workshop in Bulwell — thanks to a big Lottery grant.

The Bike Club, based at a workshop on Lillington Road, is one of nine social enterprises operated by Eve Trades, a wholly-owned subsidiary of homelessness charity Framework.

Volunteers, with support from staff and clients, can recycle and recondition donated and abandoned bikes before selling them on — after completing one for personal transport.

The money raised is being used to further develop the scheme and help people who, for a variety of reasons, are at risk of long-term social exclusion.

The award of £204,106, announced by the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities Programme, will allow for the continued employment of the project co-ordinator, setting up a new trainee post, taking on more volunteers and forming several community hubs across Nottingham — with the locations to be announced later.

The workshop enhances a cycle theme in the same part of Bulwell, with Nottingham Outlaws’ BMX track just a short distance away on Sellers Wood Drive.

Eve Trades chief executive Claire Eden said: “We are all about offering opportunities to people who need that bit of extra support to realise their workplace potential.

“This funding will support the Bike Club over the next three years. It will help people to learn new skills, increase confidence, feel less isolated and progress to further training for jobs.

“We are delighted by the support of the Big Lottery Fund and are excited by the impact it will have on the lives of the people we exist to support.”

Eve Trades, which was established in January, is a Community Interest Company (CIC), which manages all the social enterprises funded by Framework.

It helps vulnerable people — including those who have been or are likely to become homeless — to experience the world of work and gain vital skills and experience in a professional and supported environment.

It also makes them feel wanted and encourages them to form friendships.