Youngsters have been getting their hands dirty learning new skills as part of a bike repair project run by a gym.
Creazione, on Caerphilly’s Western Industrial Estate, started its community youth scheme in summer 2019.
Targeted at children aged between nine to 16 who are living on the Lansbury Park estate, the scheme offers activities such as dance and fitness sessions, paddle boarding trips, as well as well as the bike repair workshop.
It works with schools to find pupils who would benefit most from the scheme.
The first year of the scheme was brought to an abrupt halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, while most activities stopped, the bike repair workshops continued.
Youngsters collect old and battered bikes to repair and sell on. People can also bring their own bikes in to get them fixed. Money raised goes back into the project.
Rhys Davies, 14, is one of the youngsters repairing bikes.
He said: “If it hadn’t been for this project I would just be staying in every day. I enjoy learning about bikes and how to fix them. I am hoping to do my qualifications and one day become a mechanic.”
Scheme going from strength-to-strength
The scheme currently has one full-time member of staff, with three freelance workers and one volunteer.
Nearly £40,000 was given to Creazione in the Community from the Police Community Fund – which is made up of money seized from criminals.
The scheme is set to continue after it was granted a further £20,000 from the fund, administered by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent.
Mr Evans said the project will go “from strength-to-strength” with the extra cash.
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He said: “The commissioner was blown away by what he saw and the kids are loving it.
“These kids are keen to get their hands dirty and get out there. They want to access qualifications.”
Mr Evans revealed there are plans to expand the project into Graig y Rhacca in the near future.
He added: “We’re mainly focusing on Lansbury Park at the moment, but it’s not shut off to other communities.”
Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert said: “It is fantastic to see this project has continued to run through lockdown, supporting young people who are particularly vulnerable at this time.”
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