$4000 from Lotteries restarts programme
The Waitaki Community Bike Project has secured funding which will allow it to continue to provide bicycles for children from financially disadvantaged families for up to 12 months.
The programme, based on a successful Dunedin model, operates out of the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park.
Mentors and volunteers restore bikes donated by members of the public or pulled out of the recovery park. Once restored, they are given to children on permanent loan.
In March, the programme was temporarily put on ice after funding ran out.
However, Waitaki Resource Recovery Trust business manager Dave Clare said $4000 was recently secured from the Lotteries Grants Board and further funding for the programme would be sought from other agencies.
As a result, six bikes were recently donated to a road safety programme run by Carrie Hamilton of the Oamaru police, while another was given to an Oamaru North School pupil so he could ride part of the Otago Central Rail Trail with his classmates.
Mr Clare said the project had taken some time to get off the ground, but he was encouraged by the results.
“We are getting there slowly. We’ve got two individuals helping out with the project. “We have created some room here and are about to start mentoring kids. We have four from Waitaki Boys’ interested.
“They will build bicycles for their own education and provide us with more bikes for the bike library.”He said the advantages of running the project out of the Chelmer St workshop were being able to have more control over health and safety and overall efficiency.
Mr Clare said he was very grateful for the bikes dropped off by the public for the project, but said the recovery park still needed bikes for children between the ages of 4 and 6.
When bikes are given to those in need in the future, it is possible recipients will also receive a voucher for a helmet and a high-visibility vest.
“If people can’t afford a bike, they probably won’t be able to afford a helmet and high-vis vest either,” Mr Clare said.
“It will round off the project.”He said the project benefited everyone in the community.
“It’s helping the police with their safety programme and helping kids as well, so it’s a nice wee project.”