Youngsters changing gear with mechanic training

Young people with a history of anti-social behaviour and illegal bike riding are being offered a positive route out of trouble and the chance to learn new skills.

The Palace for Life Foundation is running an eight-week bike mechanic programme in partnership with the Croydon Auto Bike Scheme (CABS) and the Met Police to engage those most at risk of offending.

Part of the Premier League Kicks programme, the scheme is aimed at 10 young people who have been identified by Police in the New Addington area.

Community Development Officer at the Palace for Life Foundation John Patrick said: “Alongside CABS, the Foundation is using the motorbike as a tool to positively engage young people and help them to gain a good understanding of safety and safety equipment.

“One of the main aims of the project is to cover the implications of riding illegally and support the young people, while still giving them the opportunity to get on a motorbike. We want them to learn how to ride safely within a controlled environment.”

All of the young people involved will have achieved the following by the end of the programme, provided they have attended at least 80% of the sessions:

· An AQA Accreditation in mechanical skills and health and safety

· An improved understanding of riding, law and consequences

· The ability to safely ride a geared pit bikes (off-road)

There is also the additional opportunity to be referred to CABS partner club, Croydon Pit Bike Racing CIC, who offer a drop-in club twice a week for a longer period of time, and weekend championship riding activities.