National child and youth care charity, Kibble, has donated 10 refurbished bicycles to Lochwinnoch community group, The Annexe, to be used by local children and families.

The bikes, refurbished at Kibble’s Skills Academy by budding bike mechanics and their teachers, will be gifted to the community group and maintained by the Skills Academy team. The bikes are set to increase local resources encouraging the community to enjoy their surroundings and experience the health and wellbeing opportunities on their doorstep in Lochwinnoch.

Lochwinnoch is also home to Kibble’s Forest View school and residential children’s houses for children who have faced a challenging start in life. The forest setting, nature-inspired interiors and experienced team of staff provide therapeutic, trauma-informed care to help children feel safe, loved and supported.

Each bike donated to The Annexe has been given a new lease of life by young people accessing Kibble’s Skills Academy who are working towards a nationally recognised qualification in bike maintenance.

The Skills Academy is Kibble’s Education and Training Centre and is part of the charity’s overall workforce development model. Through The Skills Academy, young people who have faced trauma and adversity receive high levels of support to gain academic and vocational qualifications, full training and valuable work experience in line with the current job market. The goal is to help young people progress onto rewarding work opportunities in a role they enjoy.

Trained by experienced and qualified bike mechanics, the young people have worked in tandem with their trainers to ensure each bike destined for The Annexe is restored to its former glory, passing rigorous safety measures.

Photo: (Left to Right) Ross Robert, Kibble bike instructor and Robert McLeish from The Annexe

A range of sizes and colours of bikes were included in Kibble’s donation to The Annexe to ensure locals of all ages and ability can access the bikes which will be stored in the community centre in Lochwinnoch.

Robert McLeish, who manages The Annexe alongside his mum, said: “Kibble has a great presence in Lochwinnoch and the surrounding areas, so it’s fantastic to be working together to help improve the community and open up more opportunities for local people to make the most of our beautiful surroundings.

“At the Annexe we are focused on being a valuable community resource where there is something for everyone no matter your age, interests or ability, and this donation will go a long way in helping us build a range of activities and experiences for the whole of Lochwinnoch.

“The bikes will be a valued resource, especially since there is a cycle track nearby which is enjoyed by many.”

Mark Robertson, depute head at Kibble’s Skills Academy, said: “Our young bike maintenance students have done a wonderful job refurbishing and reinvigorating the bikes for The Annexe. The team have really poured all their efforts into this project and are looking forward to seeing the bikes going to a good cause.

“The Skills Academy seeks to set young people up with qualifications, training and skills which can be taken further into communities and the job market, so it’s brilliant that the team here are able to see their efforts come full circle and pay off for the enjoyment of others.”

To find out more about Forest View School click here.
To find out more about The Skills Academy click here.
To find out more about Forest View residential houses click here.