PEDDLE POWER POINTS STUDENTS TOWARDS A BETTER CAREER PATH

PEDDLE POWER POINTS STUDENTS TOWARDS A BETTER CAREER PATH

A social enterprise is leading students who repair bikes towards a better career path.

Stockport-based CERA Cycloan was set up five years ago by fellow directors Brian Pendlebury and wife Christine.

The business also supports charities, with St Ann’s Hospice the latest organisation to receive a donation from its online sales.

Brian’s father George (79), from Cheadle, was cared for by the charity and his death in 2009 gave the couple an idea.

Brian said: “My mum Margaret was lonely and isolated and didn’t know what to do so we decided to loan bikes to over 65s for free. It means they can enjoy physical and social activity with like-minded people and we organise leisurely family bike rides for all ages on Saturday mornings.”

Each day six students from schools and local authorities learn mechanical and business skills while refurbishing donated bikes in the Higher Hillgate workshop.

Another six helpers work in the art and design workshop where items such as lamps, clocks and handbags are made for sale online.

ERA Cycloan staff and volunteers. Back row (from left) – Brian and Christine Pendlebury and Andrew Millest. Front, Josh Walton, Andrew Butler and Tom Hibbs.

Brian said: “We’re an alternative education provider and the bikes are a way of changing behaviour. A lot of our students go on to become car mechanics, apprentices or undertake further education.

“The refurbished bikes are sold online, or donated to job seekers or apprentices.  Rather than pay commission to an online sales site we decided to donate that percentage to charity.”