Volunteer Awards 2019 Finalist – Gear Up, Birmingham
Gear Up aims to engage with young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs), and helps them to take part in positive activities and gain skills that can help them find employment.
Gear Up offers a fully accredited work scheme in partnership with the charity Worth Unlimited. This allows disadvantaged young people to build their skills and experience, creating a clear pathway into the cycle industry.
As well as a successful work scheme, Gear Up has become something of a hub for young cyclists in the area. The Gear Up Cycle Club is an accessible and social group, catering for all different cycling abilities. The club is a Cycling UK-affiliated Community Cycle Club and runs regular events for all, including family rides once a month and mid-week rides aimed at encouraging more women to take part in cycling.
The group has also taken part in Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival for the past three years, putting on events in the local area.
In the spirit of community, Gear Up also engages with local businesses, schools and other clubs. Often running Dr Bike sessions or maintenance workshops, Gear Up has also recently helped to deliver the pilot programme for Get Started in Bikes with the Prince’s Trust. This was a huge success and it’s hoped this programme will be rolled out across Birmingham and the rest of the UK.
Gear Up is a great example of how a small-scale social enterprise and club can be part of a larger cycling-focused community, bringing people together and giving disadvantaged young people a chance to succeed.