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25th Jun, 2021

Top teamwork helps get children back on bikes

Rob George 9th Aug, 2020

WORCESTERSHIRE Children First, the Police and Crime Commissioner and West Mercia Police have worked together to secure eight bicycles for looked-after children in the county.

When looked-after children in Worcestershire reach the age of 16 Worcestershire Children First provides them with a bicycle to support their independent development.

Due to COVID-19 the service found the apparent national backlog of bike orders left them with no bikes for young people, so the team reached out to their police colleagues for help.

They were able to supply a total of eight bicycles that would have otherwise been auctioned off.

Tina Russell, director of children’s social care at Worcestershire Children First, said: “Many of our 16 to 18-year-olds who don’t live within close proximity to relatives, education, work placement or amenities rely on these bicycles and we have also found them to be a good source of encouraging physical activity.

“We have a young person who moved into their own independent living flat recently.

“However, this flat is further away from their friends and from amenities so they are desperate for their bike. I’ve been looking at any opportunity I can to try secure them an interim bike hence my request to the Police and Crime Commissioner and West Mercia Police.

“I want to thank both organisations for their speed in response and generosity on this. It will make the world of difference to those young people living on their own for the first time and help enable their independence.”

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “This is a great example of something coming full cycle. These bikes were seized by the police in the first place because of their links to illegal activity.

“Having taken them off criminals, I think the public would be very supportive of them going back into the community in such a positive way. The impact and difference something so simple can have on a young person’s life, especially those that may have more vulnerabilities, is invaluable.”

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