June 13, 2024


Where Innovation Lives

Community bike shop Westminster Wheels training unemployed residents to become bike mechanics

3 min read


A neighborhood bicycle shop that was established up in partnership by Westminster City Council, Groundwork London and Cycle Confident has been furnishing prospects for out-of-perform people to coach as bike mechanics and be paid out the London Dwelling Wage whilst they are mastering.

During the 6-month programme, the trainees work together with expert bike mechanics refurbishing old bikes, of which 80% are bought at inexpensive selling prices to crank out profits for the store and 20% are donated to the area community.

Considering that the shop opened in March 2021, 30 Westminster people have done their 6-month coaching and most have gone on to secure even more work, lots of in just the bicycle field.

Chris Whiteley, who productively done his paid out work placement with Westminster Wheels and who is now a full-time bike mechanic explained: “I very first moved to London very last year. I was homeless right before I arrived listed here so I moved in with my sister.

“I identified a poster for Westminster Wheels when I was likely for a walk a single working day and believed, I enjoy bikes and would like to understand how to take care of them. Westminster Wheels has certainly modified my existence. I went from possessing no plan or what to do with my lifetime to discovering a vocation that I could happily spend the rest of my existence performing.”

Westminster Wheels has so much donated in excess of 80 bikes which have been focused at places in Westminster with the highest fees of deprivation and health and fitness inequality. In the past calendar year, bikes have been supplied to community organisations which includes Marylebone Bangladesh Modern society, Paddington Growth Have confidence in, Women’s Groups and via the council’s Children’s Products and services.

To really encourage protected cycling, all the beneficiaries are created informed of bicycle teaching classes and support and suggestions supplied from the store at Church Road.

This 12 months, Westminster Wheels will be expanding its access by donating bicycle servicing vouchers to reduced-cash flow family members in Westminster with the goal of offering 450 vouchers around the up coming 6 months.

Linking in with Westminster Town Council’s broader local weather action plan which includes its ambition to grow to be a carbon-neutral council by 2030 and town by 2040, the task also has a strong sustainability concentration.

In its to start with 12 months, nine tonnes of disused bikes that would usually have gone to squander have been refurbished. Nearby men and women are currently being inspired and enabled to pick lively transport in excess of vehicles.

The project’s arrive at has been manufactured attainable by sponsorship from organizations in Westminster which includes Capita, Ecoworld, Grosvenor, The Howard de Walden Estate, RMG, Westminster Group Houses, Ecoworld, HA Marks, Wates and Important Energy.

Read through extra: Not (just) for youngsters: Discovering the current point out of BMX

Councillor Geoff Barraclough, cabinet member for organizing and economic progress at Westminster City Council, said: “Westminster Wheels has assisted persons who experience superior barriers to work this kind of as homelessness master new and valuable expertise. Around 60% of the trainees are now in comprehensive-time work.

“If you are a biking fanatic or just  starting out on two wheels, you should check out out the Westminster Wheels shop on Church Street to meet the trainees and get pro suggestions on economical bikes and servicing.”


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