A Swindon residential centre for people experiencing homelessness has launched a cycle hire scheme with the opportunity to hire one of two tandems as well as multiple bikes and hybrid bikes to raise funds for the work it does in training its residents with customer service skills, cycle mechanics, and food hygiene.
Booth House Lifehouse is also offering bespoke cycle maintenance courses from £30 for a small group for one hour and a five-week ladies only course at £75 per person, two hours a week at its cycle repair shop called Recycles in Princess Street.
The centre runs two social enterprise schemes – Recycles and a Sandwich delivery service known as The Sandwich People - which offer its residents work experience and the chance to take accredited courses to help them gain the skills they need to find work and get back on their feet.
Craig Reade, 23, has been a resident at Booth House for about five months. He lost his home after he and his ex-girlfriend split up. At first he was sofa-surfing and then he lived with his sister but couldn’t stay there anymore. He was nervous about moving into Booth House initially but says he was pleasantly surprised.
“I was taken on a tour around Booth House, and I saw Recycles and thought that I would like to get involved. It has given me quite a bit of confidence. It has helped me feel useful and gain a sense of purpose, to do something worthwhile,” Craig said.
Craig is about to start his Cytech qualification in cycle mechanics and has helped on the bicycle maintenance course run by Recycles Workshop Supervisor, Simon Styles.
Emma Hicks, Social Enterprise Programme Co-ordinator, said: “At Booth House we aim to be there for people who are vulnerable or in need in our community and look to be there for people with a listening ear. But we also believe in practical help and this is why we run the Sandwich People and Recycles – to help our residents get back on their feet and in time back in to work. The cycle hire scheme and the maintenance course are fantastic opportunities for people to have fun in the summer sun, or to gain new skills, while also supporting a great cause.”
To find out more about the courses and bicycle hire we offer please contact 01793 401 834 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org