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Community & Business

6 December, 2020

Bike club ends.

A program that started 20 weeks ago to help homeless men learn new skills and give them social interaction by refurbishing second hand bikes has finished.

By Phil Brandel

(L-R) Darren Devine, Owen Sheppard and Jason Shaw with the newly refurbished bikes

Bike program comes to an end

A program that started 20 weeks ago to help homeless men learn new skills and give them social interaction by refurbishing second hand bikes has just finished.

Mareeba Community Housing Company (MCHC) started the program in August. The aim of the program was to bring men together on a regular basis to rebuild and refurbish old pushbikes.

It was hoped that by rebuilding the bikes the men would learn and share new skills like team building, communication, punctuality and pride in a job well done.

Some of the men couch surf at friends or relatives’ while other men are staying in the properties managed by MCHC.

The Mareeba shire dump donated the bikes carcases and six men have been involved over the past 4 months, fixing up four of the bikes with another two bikes being donated at a later stage.

The refurbished bikes will now be given to local children for Christmas while the two newer bikes will be raffled off closer to Christmas.

Street to Home Building Futures officer Brett Pearce said the program gave the men an opportunity to meet and relate to other men who are in similar situations, helping them to build confidence and self-esteem.

“It also helps them get a sense of satisfaction by making something for someone else, “he said

“The bikes are almost secondary it’s more about getting them together and providing them with an opportunity to open up with others who may have shared a similar experience.

“They also get some soft employment skills, like using tools, communication, cleaning, and painting.

“We also want to say a big thank you to Victoria and Simon from the Hungry Pug and the guys at Sports Power in Mareeba.”

One of the men participating in the group was Darren Devine who said he picked up new skills since starting with the group.

“Over the past 20 weeks, I’ve learnt how to use my initiative as well as learning how to put bikes together, I’ve also learnt how to paint, strip and grind,” he said

 “I’m not working so it’s great to get out of the house and end the boredom.”


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