THE first graduates from a new Build-a-Bike training course run by the social enterprise Julian House Bike Workshop in Trowbridge received certificates to celebrate their success this week.
Jake Butler, Matthew Joyce and Thomas Robson-Carter were awarded certificates by Julian House chief executive Peter Denning at the bike workshop in Duke Street on Tuesday (April 7) after completing the six-week course.
The course, which is the first of its kind in Wiltshire, is targeted at individuals with a history of homelessness, addiction offending or long term unemployment, who would benefit from being independently mobile.
It is funded by the Wiltshire Community Transport Fund and during the course, participants learned to strip and refurbish a donated second-hand bike, including how to remove, refit and replace parts on the bicycle.
Mr Butler, 24, who found out about the course through The Amber Foundation, said: “I really enjoyed the course and I learned a lot about bicycles over the six weeks.
“We had to dismantle the bikes and then put them back together using parts at the bike workshop and it provided me with great experience and some useful new skills.”
The course is aimed at boosting self esteem and providing participants new skills and work place disciplines. They are allowed to take their refurbished bike at the end, giving them more independence and freedom.
Simon Brand, the social enterprise area manager for Julian House, said: “Even though we have experience of doing something similar in Bath there’s still quite a bit of organising to launch a new course in a new workshop.
“The structured programme has worked really well and the feedback from our inaugural students has been very positive.
“We are indebted to the Community Transport Fund for their support and to the various referral agencies who have been directing clients towards the course. I’m pleased to say that the next course, which starts in April, is already full.”