Last week I met with Darren Thomas from Dismantle to discuss their Bike Rescue program.
The program uses a bike mechanic course to engage vulnerable young people in a positive activity and create opportunities to address any problems they are facing.
Once they start at Bike Rescue, young people are paired with a mentor who helps them to strip and rebuild two bikes – one to be donated to charity and the second for themselves.
Along the way the mentors identify any challenges the young people are facing and provide support and referral to services that can help, with a focus on re-engaging with education, training or employment.
This approach recognises the importance of creating trusting relationships with young people who are vulnerable or disadvantaged – having mentors and role models who they can trust is a common theme young people have raised in many of my office’s consultations.
Community-based programs that connect with vulnerable young people provide benefits for the whole community.
I congratulate Darren and the rest of the team at Dismantle for their work on this innovative program.