Social impact and individual development

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 get people off the streets and prevent them being lost to crime.

We were delighted to facilitate a donation of 17 bikes to the charity but we were delighted to be able to give a young man an opportunity to actually help on the Charity Bike Build that built the 17 bikes! This is not the first time we have been able to do this however we are in the process of developing a programme to create further opportunities and now work with 2 charities to enable this going forward.

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 charity team building event in action at an impressive hotel in central London. The event, put on in partnership with a leading national business advisory firm, was spread across the afternoon and culminated in seventeen new bikes being built by the advisory firm staff, under the guidance of the O3e bike mechanic team. I was there because this shiny collection of bikes were to be donated to the charity for whom I work, Carney’s Community.

The charity’s services are targeted at disadvantaged young people aged 11 to 30 who come from deprived backgrounds in Wandsworth, Lambeth, and the surrounding areas. At Carney’s Community, a young person builds a trusting relationship with a single consistent mentor; this relationship lasts as long as the young person needs; and the mentoring is taken up by the young person when they want it and are motivated to make changes in their lives. We also offer a variety of free, positive and constructive activities to young people such as boxing, bike workshops and 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 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 was visible across his face.  Despite being intimidated and anxious on arrival at the event, his personal growth over the past few years allowed him to feel comfortable at the event – it was a real breakthrough moment in his journey.

Later that evening the completed bikes were delivered to Carney’s Community Centre, where a Battersea Bikes session was 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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