Brandon Trust Bristol Bike Project

The Brandon Trust Bike Project team pictured on the first day of their bike maintenance training course in Bristol

The Brandon Trust Bike Project team pictured on the first day of their bike maintenance training course in Bristol

Charity Brandon Trust is appealing for donations of a different kind after launching a new project to help teach people with learning disabilities to repair and maintain bicycles.

Staff running the project, based at Elm Tree Farm in Bristol, are desperate for any unwanted bicycles, bike parts and also volunteers with knowledge of bikes to spare a few hours one day a week to help make it a success.

Brandon Trust secured a National Lottery grant which has funded tools, equipment and a two-month maintenance training course at Bristol Bike Project in Stokes Croft for four people supported by the charity, which started this September.

The aim is for the team to offer the public a cycle repair service and sell repaired and recycled bikes from a workshop on the farm once-a-week.

Brandon Trust employment officer Steve Price said: “It will provide a lot of different opportunities for the people we support and a chance to gain confidence and skills for possible future employment.”

On the first training day this week, the four Brandon Trust students – Andrew Denning, Matt Styles, Richard Wyatt and Luke Crocker – got to grips learning the basics of bike repair with help from staff at Bristol Bike Project.

Luke, of Westbury, said: “I am a keen cyclist and never thought I would enjoy this so much. I want to learn how to repair my own bike.”

Project leader Paul Whitehead said: “The idea has grown from one person we support wanting to learn how to maintain and repair bikes and we hope it will take off. Any support would be really appreciated. We can collect any donated items.”

To help or donate items, contact Paul Whitehead on 0117 9659782.

Brandon Trust is a Bristol-based UK charity working throughout the South West of England and in London, supporting approximately 1,200 people with learning disabilities and autism to live the lives they choose. We provide personalised services designed around individual needs, from living solutions to vocational courses, from community and leisure access to employment training and support. We also have a wealth of experience in working with people with complex needs whose behaviour sometimes challenges the environment in which they live, or with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Brandon Trust works with a variety of partners to create innovative and person-centred support solutions for people with learning disabilities and autism, involving family, carers, purchasers and other providers in the design of the support provision.

For more information about Brandon Trust services, visit www.brandontrust.org

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