Colchester City Council has donated 23 bikes to Bridgeway Mission, Community360 and a local family, as part of its ongoing Community Cycle initiative.
In partnership with en-form, Colchester Anti Loo Roll Brigade and Route 51 Cycle Project, Community Cycle collected 110 unwanted wheeled items in 2022, which have now been refurbished and will be gifted to local community groups and individuals most in need.
Bridgeway Mission, who support refugees moving to Colchester, and Community360, who lead on a wide range of community projects, were both selected for the scheme because of their strong ties with some of Colchester’s most vulnerable residents.
Cllr Julie Young, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Housing & Communities, said: “Wherever possible, Colchester City Council will always work with communities to enable residents to be more active. Sometimes, this means working with partners such as Bridgeway Mission and Community360 to ensure all residents have an equal and fair chance to enjoy the benefits of physical activity, even if they are hard to reach.
“Though the Council’s Community Cycle project has moved on from collecting wheeled items and is instead focusing on donating the refurbished bicycles, scooters and skateboards, residents can still donate their unwanted wheels by contacting en-form.”
Souzan Yousif, Founder of Bridgeway Mission, said: “We are so pleased to have received the first six bikes from Colchester City Council for the asylum seekers we work with – all of whom rode them back to their hotels with smiles on their faces.
"One of the recipients said he will now be able to explore Colchester’s countryside in his own time. We at Bridgeway are excited to see how physical freedom and exercise will help to decrease anxiety and increase mental wellbeing for vulnerable persons. Kind gestures like these can make a world of difference to a refugee."
Tracy Rudling, CEO of Community360, added: “This type of collaborative initiative builds strength with our residents and their ability to have more choice on keeping active – from the youngest to the more mature of us. As the cost of living crisis bites further this year, we will be encouraging more conversation, activity, volunteering and a greater opportunity to participate in activities that would have otherwise been a stretch on the purse strings. Keep an eye out for later in the year, when C360 provides more activities out of The One Colchester Hub space.”
The Community Cycle initiative is just the first step in helping some resident to access free quality bikes. Essex Pedal Power, which was piloted in Clacton and Jaywick Sands, will be launching in Greenstead later this year. Eligible residents over the age of 12 will be able to apply for a bike, as well as join new community cycling clubs.
An additional 87 wheeled items will be donated to local charities, community groups and individuals throughout 2023. If residents would like to donate their old bikes, they can email en-form: email@example.com.
Pictured above: Cllr Julie Young, third from the right, and representatives from Community360 and Bridgeway Mission
Page last reviewed: 23 March 2023