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Local students send bikes to Africa
1:22pm Tuesday 24th June 2008 in News
Seven 2nd year students on the Team Enterprise course at Kidderminster College have spent the last 20 weeks working with local bike recycling company, Spokes, to refurbish bikes ready to be sent to school children in Africa.
Spokes, a non profit making training and enterprise organisation, helps young people with learning difficulties and disabilities by working with them to develop maintenance skills with the objective of getting them into the workplace. Having worked with Kidderminster College’s Team Enterprise students previously, the Spokes team wanted to make the students work experience more worthwhile and suggested that they don’t just refurbish bikes to sell but refurbish them for a worthwhile cause.
So, having spent one morning a week in the Spokes workshop, the students have completely refurbished five bikes for the Jole Rider, Bikes4Africa project. Many African students have to walk 10 miles, or even further - in searing heat - to get to their nearest secondary school. Bikes4Africa provide quality, refurbished bikes to African secondary schools which are then allocated by teachers to children with the longest walks to school.
Paul Ravenhill, Trustee of Spokes said: “We wanted to give the Team Enterprise students an additional sense of achievement which is why we designed their work experience around sending bikes to Africa. Not only have they achieved way beyond our expectations but they have learnt more about Africa, their team working skills have improved and they have developed excellent bike maintenance skills. They are a real credit to the college.”
Team Enterprise Course Tutor, Jan Deaden said: “The students have really enjoyed rebuilding bikes for the project. They have all gained valuable skills, including working independently and even making tea for the work force as well as being able to transfer their existing skills into a new environment whilst working alongside new people.”
“To have worked on such a worthwhile project has been a real boost for the students, so much so that they have also decided to sponsor a Joel Rider bike for the next 12 months!”