Repairing bikes to renew lives
One man’s love of bikes has inspired a community of volunteers who are mending old wheels and giving joy to all involved.
Meet Nicky, a very humble and modest man who is making a difference in the lives of many with his Help Mend the Cycle program.
By refurbishing old bikes that would be destined for landfill, Nicky is giving people, many of them children, who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to ride a bike, the chance to enjoy one.
Nicky says: ‘I like to get bikes to people who can’t afford them. I want to give recycled bikes to the community, and also be able to change people’s lives who can help fix bikes. To be able to give is a beautiful thing.’
Nicky believes it’s the simple joys that make a profound difference: ‘Those who loved their bike as a child will recall the joys of going on rides. The goal of our initiative is to make these experiences available to all.’
But more than that, he’s giving people in difficult situations, such as homelessness or drug and alcohol addiction, a safe place to give back to the community and do something valuable with their time.
‘A lot of volunteers are coming through dark times, and I think coming here is giving them an escape and a purpose and direction as well.’
This is something Nicky knows all too well. In 2016 he experienced his own hardship. He connected with Uniting Communities’ services—it was from here that he started to get back on track, and rekindled his love of bikes.
‘I thought of what really made me happy before my dark times… and I remembered I loved riding bikes. So I started looking on Gumtree and picked up four or five bikes in the first week.’
Not long after, Nicky was offered a space within Uniting Communities to make help the project grow, and Help Mend the Cycle started to take shape.
‘Once a week we drive around to people’s houses, pick up old bikes, and bring them in. Then on Wednesdays we run a workshop space where volunteers can come in and help fix the bikes up.’
Nicky has a grander vision for how he can continue to help the community.
‘My dream place would be a place where people can come share and give knowledge. I believe that no matter who you are or what you’ve been through, we’ve all got a lesson and something we can teach. It doesn’t have to be bikes. We have an open place where we can share our stories. That’s my vision.’
It’s vision like Nicky’s that we choose to support, and we are only able to assist individuals like him thanks to the generosity of individuals like you. With your backing, people like Nicky can mend so much more than bicycles—they can help to mend lives.
Nicky’s mending the cycle in many ways
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