Everyday Cycling Heroes: Lewis

Lewis was referred on to our Change Cycle course by his social worker, suffering from anxiety resulting in long-term unemployment. In his own words, he was “sick of doing nothing”.

Understandably, Lewis was anxious to arrive as he had no prior knowledge of bikes or any maintenance experience, though he had regularly been using the city-wide hire scheme nextbike to get to job interviews.

Working with our Skills & Development team, we found Lewis to be really enthusiastic and engage well with all the challenges we set him. He asked lots of relevant questions and made a real effort with other young people on the course. 

We partner with The Venture trust to deliver the three-week Change Cycle course for young people aged 16-24 who have left school and are ready to enter the working world. It includes:

  • Bike construction and maintenance including workshop experience
  • Employability sessions
  • Qualifications – including City & Guilds, First Aid, and Health and Safety
  • One-to-one support, mentoring and coaching
  • Development of a personal action plan
  • A short wilderness residential

Lewis made us laugh when he told us:

“‘I’ve noticed I feel free and more confident here. Staff are so sound and helpful. It’s been cool as f***…

This course got me focused on something new and got me away from the constant circle of relationship and everyday problems. I genuinely understand how bikes work and can at least find out what is the problem if not fix it. That’s awesome!”

Lewis told us that before Change Cycle, he would struggle to find the motivation to get up in the morning. He wasn’t used to focusing on anything for a long period of time, but says that the bike workshop got him ‘thinking differently, because it’s fun’.

Employment is hopefully in Lewis’ future, as he continues to work on his anxiety issues. Now that he has a City & Guilds qualification, Lewis says he is looking forward to taking care of his own bike and feels confident to maintain it. 

“Build your own bike had me waking up excited for the day, and I am happy for the chance to be doing this.”

 

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