Social impact and individual development

Build a bike charity challenge is fun, team building and motivational.

o3e has been working with Carney’s to support there mission to help young people achieve their potential, founded by Mick Carney MBE  (1935-2011) a pre-war British Boxing Champion. Carneys uses boxing to keep people off the streets and away from crime.

As well as facilitating a donation of 17 bikes to the charity, we were thrilled to offer a young man the opportunity to help build the bikes as part of the Charity Bike Build! While this is not the first time we have been able to do this, we are developing a program to create more opportunities to make this happen.

This is what Rory Bradshaw from Carney’s wrote:

On the final day of September 2021, I had the opportunity to see my first O3e build a bike charity team building event in action at an impressive hotel in central London. Presented in partnership with a leading national business advisory firm, the event culminated in 17 new bikes being built by staff from the advisory firm under the guidance of the O3e mechanic team. Carney’s Community, for which I work, was to receive the shiny collection of bikes.

In Wandsworth, Lambeth, and the surrounding areas, the charity serves disadvantaged young people aged 11-30 from deprived backgrounds. Carney’s Community helps young people build a trusting relationship with a single consistent mentor; this mentoring relationship lasts as long as the young person needs. We also offer a variety of free activities to young people such as boxing, bike workshops and a youth club.

But I was not simply at the event to eagerly await the completion of this generous donation of bikes, but to pay close attention to an unusually youthful face amongst the O3e mechanics. That face belonged to a young man who I have been mentoring for three years at Carney’s. Now on the cusp of adulthood, this young man has become a significant contributor to the establishment of our youth-led bike workshop, Battersea Bikes. This project develops ‘young mechanics’ by teaching them practical bike mechanic skills, as well as social skills such as communication and teamwork. By exhibiting the development of these skills, young people are able to earn a bike that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

As I watched my mentee move purposefully amongst the work stands scattered across the large conference room, directing and assisting the FRP staff with their bike builds, his growing confidence and self-esteem were visible across his face.

Despite his initial anxiety and intimidation upon arriving at the event, his personal growth over the past few years allowed him to feel comfortable at the event – it was a breakthrough moment for him in his journey.

On that evening, the completed bikes were delivered to Carneys Community Center, where there was a Battersea Bikes class in full swing. The young mechanics’ eyes widened as they saw the incoming bike donations arrive and there was a palpable upsurge in focus and determination to complete that evening’s bike jobs in the workshop as each participant knew that one day soon, they could have earned one of these new donations.

I am really looking forward to seeing more young mechanics contribute to O3e events and to see what other training and development opportunities could be possible for young people at Carney’s through an ongoing relationship with O3e. The bikes donated will make a huge difference to the lives of our young people who access our charity and we are excited to see them become more physically active and more motivated to further themselves as a result of this.

We estimate that a bike that enables social inclusivity is worth annually to our society £1157.00, so 17 bikes are worth as much as £19,669 plus the asset value. What’s the value of the young man’s experience?

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