Brand new bikes for residents - YMCA DownsLink Group

Brand new bikes for residents

Two new bikes and helmets in the garden leaning against a brick wall

Earlier this month, we were delighted to receive a generous donation of 16 brand new bikes to be shared amongst our residents.


O3E, the charity team building company, facilitated a bike building team day for Thales in Crawley. 250 apprentices from Thales joined in, all eager to work hard to bring about a long lasting positive impact for someone in the local community. The group was split into teams, each building a different part of the bikes and competing in challenges to win accessories for the bikes such as helmets, locks and reflective lights.

Thales apprentices building bikes

After a day of hard work and team building, they successfully built 16 high-quality bikes. It was decided that the bikes would be handed out to residents living in our supported housing projects in Horsham and Crawley as these were the most local to Thales.

The bikes are not only a great way to exercise but they also provide a free means of transportation for the young people. They can also provide a sense of independence for the young people living with us, something that is really key for their development and confidence.

Building bikes at Thales, looking at the accessoriesAbdul, one of our residents who received a bike told us:

“The bike will help me save money and time and get to places quicker. It has inspired me to know that if I treat others well and kindly, there are rewards and respect. I respect where I live and the staff and the bike shows they respect me too and I appreciate them picking me to get the bike.” – Abdul

Amy, Inspire Coach, commented:

“I’m so pleased to hear that Adbul was selected to receive a bike. It will help Abdul to get out and about and take up new opportunities. Abdul has attended regular meetings with me to look at different education, employment and training opportunities. He wants a career in IT and has been doing self-learning on-line. He is also looking for a part-time job to support himself whilst he is studying and figuring out his next step. He takes on all support offered to him and is focused on his future and opportunities to move on. Abdul is really grateful for being given this gift.”

Young resident with their new bike in the garden after the bikes were awarded

Anna, a project worker at our Older Looked After Young People (OLYP) project, told us more about why they chose the young people in their project to receive a bike and what the impact of this donation will be.

“We were very lucky to have some bikes donated to our project. We decided to give the donated bikes to three of our residents. We chose these three residents because over the short time they have spent here, we have seen huge improvements in them. They have been engaging well and learning to live more independently. We are so proud of the progress they have made and we wanted to show them how impressed we are.”

The bikes have already had a hugely positive impact on our residents and will continue to bring them joy and independence for years to come. We’re really grateful to Thales, O3E and the 250 apprentices for their commitment to creating a brighter future for the young people at YMCA DownsLink Group.

“I was very surprised to get my bike. I am very thankful that I can ride around and do some exercise. I am very grateful to the people who donated them.” – Resident at our OLYP project

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YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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