Who are we?
We are five teenagers (aged 16 – 18) from Blaina in Blaenau Gwent. There’s not much for young people to do in Blaina and when we were younger, like many people our age, we found ourselves in trouble with the police for anti-social behaviour. We were bored, so we used to hang around the town centre on our bikes in gangs, riding on the pavements, causing trouble and distress to the local people. We didn’t really consider the impact we were having on the local community. Our local area has a lot of unemployment, alcohol, drug and anti-social behaviour problems. We just did what we thought people our age were supposed to do. We were all heading for criminal records at the time and the future didn’t look good.
The Buzz Bikes story
Then, we heard about The Prince’s Trust Community Cash Awards, which give you a grant to set up a project. We thought it would be a good idea to set up a cycling club as we all loved spending time on our bikes. We applied, and received a grant from The Prince’s Trust and the Welsh Assembly Government and in October 2008 Buzz Bikes was born.
The club gave us, and other local young people, something to occupy our time and keep us off the streets and out of trouble. We provided bicycle maintenance training, health and safety training and organised cycle rides. We designed our own logo and printed hoodies and T shirts.
The club has been so successful that, with the help of our youth worker, we now run a small shop in town hiring out and repairing bicycles. We even loan out bikes to the local police! Now, Buzz Bikes has 50 members which means that the young people of the town are no longer causing trouble on the streets but actively engaging with their community. There are also huge health benefits too. We are working with the police, instead of getting into trouble with them.
As founder members we have learned many news skills including communication, team work, negotiating, budgeting, reducing anti-social behaviour, and consideration of others. None of us have been in trouble since starting the group and we are all either at college or in an apprenticeship now, whilst also helping to run Buzz Bikes.
In November 2010 the project won The Prince’s Trust Community Impact award at the charity’s Celebrate Success Awards in Wales. The judges were so impressed with our project that it was entered into the UK wide awards. Five of us went to the prestigious ceremony in Leicester Square and met HRH The Prince of Wales and celebrities including Cheryl Cole. We were so delighted when Buzz Bikes won the national Community Impact Award. At the ceremony we learned so much more about the charity The Prince’s Trust and the young people they help to turn their lives around. Some of the young people we met had overcome immense barriers and obstacles with the help of the Trust and we were inspired to help to support the charity which had helped to change our lives.
We have decided that we would like to give something back to The Prince’s Trust, to help the charity to go on and help more young people to make something of their lives.
We are aiming to take part in a Prince’s Trust Adventure Challenge to the Himalayas in October this year. Adventure challenges are extremely tough and challenging both in terms of physical fitness required and the dedication to fundraising required. All team members have to raise £3,700 each for The Prince’s Trust in order to take part. We are determined to take part and are committed to raising money to help change the lives of Wales most disadvantaged young people.
During the challenge, we will hike, bike and white-water raft 286 kilometres in seven days, be inspired by two of the planet’s highest mountains and experience the unique local culture. It is a tough physical challenge for which we will need to undertake a lot of fitness training.
Even tougher than the physical challenge for us will be the fundraising challenge. £3,700 each - £22,200 in total (for us and our youth worker) is a huge amount for us to raise in a place like Blaina. The money we raise will go back to The Prince’s Trust to help more young people like ourselves so we are determined to succeed.
Any support from local business and individuals would help us to achieve our goal. We have worked so hard to make the Buzz Bikes project a success for our local community and for us, to be able to raise money for the Trust, while also investing in our own personal development, would be a very positive step for not only us but the community as a whole.
Anyone interested in supporting the challenge should contact Adam Cox, Youth Co-ordinator, Blaina Communities 1st on
01495-291694/07855822787…(also Justgiving details)…
Many thanks for your time,
Adam, Calum, Kieran, Gorge, Ryan
Thanks for taking the time to visit.
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