A cycling enthusiast from Frodsham has founded a charity to encourage people to get on their bicycles and to repair and recycle bikes which would otherwise sit gathering dust.
Frodsham Bike Project was founded by Andy Pendleton with the twofold aim of providing an empowering space for members of the community who would benefit from having access to affordable and sustainable transport and to divert functional bikes from landfill.
Andy, who works at Morrisons in Frodsham, came up with the idea after finding himself inspired by the recent surge in the popularity of cycling but unable to afford a brand new bike.
He saved up for a second-hand bike and fixed it up in his garden, which attracted requests from local children for Andy to mend their bikes too.
“I did and the kids went away happy, word spread and more people started knocking asking if I could fix their bikes,” he said.
“This was when I decided a project would work in Frodsham.”
Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans put Andy in touch with the director of Frodsham Foundation Kate Dodgson, who set him up with contacts and pointed him in the right direction.
Frodsham Bike Project launched at Frodsham Leisure Centre in November and Andy and a dedicated group of volunteers have already helped around 1,200 people.
A lot of the bikes are donated by generous people who would rather see their unwanted bikes put to good use.
“Because our bikes come to us in this way, we can afford to charge a little less than most if not all the ‘for profit’ bike shops. Part of what we are trying to do is make it possible for everyone to get out on a bike, regardless of their financial situation,” he explained.
Andy has big ambitions for the project’s future, working with ‘people in need’ such as the unemployed, young offenders and older people who may feel isolated.
The team is also hoping to work in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council to reduce the number of bikes sent to the tip.
Frodsham Bike Project is open twice-weekly, between noon and 6pm on Wednesdays and 10am to 4pm on Thursdays.
For more information, visit www.frodshambikeproject.weebly.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.