Great Yarmouth outreach project given helping hand by Tour de Broads

The Great Yarmouth Bike Project

The Great Yarmouth Bike Project - Credit: Archant

A pioneering project to reduce crime and engage with youths in Great Yarmouth will be given a boost by this year's Richardson's Tour de Broads.

The Great Yarmouth Bike Project has been hosting workshops and outreach programmes to the homeless community since being formed in May 2014, and are now teaming up with Norfolk Police to bring down anti-social behaviour.

'Traditionally we have worked with local homeless shelters to offer them a place to come and engage with activities, be it rides or the opportunity to build and keep their own bikes and learn new skills in the process,' said project manager Simon Elliott. 'Some build bikes for themselves or for the project to keep and help us raise funds.'

This year the team are piloting the Earn a Bike project, in which anyone aged eight to 18 can contribute eight hours to earn a free bike.

It will be part-funded by proceeds from the Tour de Broads, in which thousands of cyclists will take in up to 100 miles of the Broads this August.

Off the back of that help they hope to be able to roll out programmes of activities across the county.

'We know there is a demand and it seems like the right thing to do,' added Simon.

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'If you simply give things away they lose their value, and we are trying to empower young people. By helping us they get something in return, so it is an incentive programme where they are rewarded for positive behaviour.

'Funds are always an issue for us being a not-for-profit, and we would never dream of putting our costs on our user group.'

Last year Tour de Broads raised £40,000 for charities and local causes, including the Great Yarmouth Bike Project.

Great Yarmouth Bike Project are currently delivering a free 10 week programme of activities for any person aged 14 and over and who want to get back into cycling by two local British Cycling coaches.

Pedal Revolution, organisers of Tour de Broads, has helped to source 10 mountain bikes that participants can use during the programme.

Blair Anslie, CEO of Seajacks has supported Great Yarmouth Bike Project since its launch in 2014. 'The work they undertake in the town makes a difference to people who live in our town,' he said. 'The Great Yarmouth Bike Project is a terrific inspiration to all of us.'

Anybody interested in enrolling should visit Facebook page 'Great Yarmouth Bike Project'.

You can enter the Tour de Broads online at www.tourdebroads.com or by visiting any Pedal Revolution store. It is cheaper to buy a rider pack in-store, and online purchasers will have their rider pack delivered within 14 days.

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