Marc Jobson, head of Seachange in Budleigh, writes for the Journal.

Seachange and Exmouth Cycles Helping Vulnerable Children to Maintain Bicycles

Cycling is not only a fun activity but also an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. It can promote a healthy lifestyle and even help to reduce traffic congestion. However, for many people, especially vulnerable children, owning a bicycle can be a challenge. That's where Seachange and Exmouth Cycles come into play.

Exmouth Cycles is a local bicycle shop located in Exmouth, run by the ever-helpful Andy Grist. The shop has been providing quality bikes, accessories, and maintenance services for over 30 years. They offer a range of bicycles for all ages and purposes, from children's bikes to electric bikes for commuting. However, they don't just sell bikes, but also work with the community to promote cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transport.

One way that Exmouth Cycles supports the local community is by collaborating with the charity Seachange to maintain bicycles." This charity provides bicycles through its’ network of contacts to children from low-income families who might not have the means to buy a bike. They also organise workshops where children and their parents can learn how to maintain and repair their bikes.

Exmouth Cycles supports the charity by providing discounted prices for parts such as inner tubes, brake cables and lubricant for the bicycles that are donated to the children. Seachange’s volunteers Matt and his colleague offer free maintenance and repair services for the bikes, ensuring that the children can keep their bikes in good condition.

The charity's workshops are designed to teach children and parents basic bike maintenance skills, such as how to change a tire, adjust brakes, and lubricate chains. These skills not only help the children to keep their bikes in good condition but also empower them with the knowledge to fix simple bike-related problems themselves.

The charity also offers a "bike buddy" scheme, where adult volunteers can help the children to practice their cycling skills and accompany them on group rides. This program not only promotes cycling but also provides a sense of community and support for vulnerable children who might not have many positive role models in their lives.

Exmouth Cycles and Seachange are making a positive impact on the community by promoting cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transport. By providing bicycles and teaching basic bike maintenance skills, they are empowering children to take control of their own transport and promoting independence and self-reliance. This initiative not only helps children from low-income families but also has wider benefits for the environment and the local community.

In conclusion, Exmouth Cycles and Seachange charity are doing an excellent job of supporting vulnerable children and promoting cycling in the local community. They are setting an example of how small businesses and charities can work together to create a positive impact on society.