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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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On yer bike...

February 03 2010
Another interesting cycling project

Homeless people in north London are encouraged to take part in bicycle workshops as part of a drive to help them back into employment.

The Margins homelessness project, based at Islington's Union Chapel, runs bike maintenance and recycling sessions, funded via the LCC-administered Community Cycling Fund for London.

It aims to turn its recycling capabilities into a business after a successful 90-day trial period. Margins, which has been providing services and facilities for the homeless and those in crisis for 14 years, plans to open a shop and sell restored bicycles at affordable prices, with profits used to support the scheme

The workshops, which have been named ‘On the Streets', last for more than six weeks and aim to boost self-esteem and encourage the development of personal responsibility. They also act as a training programme in a bid to improve employment opportunities and development for homeless people in the area. Participants boost their skills - from tool handling and workshop safety to social skills - by learning how to repair abandoned and donated bicycles.

"The workshop was absolutely brilliant... Having known nothing about bicycles, I now know a lot, and I am so pleased to be getting a bicycle next week," one participant was quoted as saying.