A CYCLE workshop – run by people with learning difficulties – is on the road to success.
Since the facility was set up by the Barrhead Centre in April, there has been a steady stream of people bringing their bikes in to be fixed, to trade in, or buy a new one.
The unique unit helped a number of people with learning difficulties become experts with bikes after getting training to fit tyres, repair punctures, service bikes and run a safety check for a small fee.
John Sheridan, the centre’s manager, said: “The Barrhead Centre service users are at the core of this ongoing project and the ideas and drive to make it a reality came from them.
“A small group even visit auctions to help bid for used bikes which we can re-condition and sell on.
“The money raised then goes back into keeping the workshops sustainable and our own fleet of bikes roadworthy.
“Setting up the cycle workshop gives service users the opportunity to take on responsibilities, learn vocational skills and in turn improve their concentration and communication skills.
“It gives everybody involved a valid and valued reason to integrate with the community and be a real asset to local life.
“We’re looking forward to working with local youngsters to get their bikes up to a good, safe standard to help them get their Bikeability qualification.
“And to encourage and support the wider community to get out and about and enjoy cycling, the Barrhead Centre also loans out bikes for children and adults for free.”
To ensure the workshop’s sustainability they also sell used and reconditioned cycles and new and used parts.
And the unit also includes a mobile bike repair workshop which tours East Renfrewshire schools to make sure bikes are roadworthy and pass on to youngsters the basics of how to maintain their cycles.
The workshop would be very grateful for the donation of any old bikes that they can either fix up or use for parts.
The cycle workshop is open week days at Barrhead Resource Centre, 8 Carlibar Road, (across from Barrhead railway station) from 10am to 2pm.
The team is looking for volunteers who would like to help out. You can call the workshop on 0141 577 8506.
The Barrhead Centre is run by East Renfrewshire Community Health Care Partnership.
The project is supported with funding from Cycling Scotland and the CHCP’s criminal justice team.